India-born Asif Kapadia and Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy win Oscars

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Indian-origin British director Asif Kapadia won an Oscar for his movie ‘Amy’ as the Best documentary Fetature


Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra wasn’t the only highlight of Oscar night 2016 on February 28, for India””or even South Asia. The star of American television show  Quantico, of course, did present an award at the 88th Academy Awards.

At Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre,  Slumdog Millionaire  star Dev Patel presented an award. Bollywood veteran Saeed Jaffrey, who died last November, was among those remembered at the ceremony.

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Priyanka Chopra made an entry on stage to present the  Best Film Editing Oscar Award  to the winner –  Mad Max: Fury Road  (Margaret Sixel). The  Quantico  girl  was introduced on stage as ”˜Priyanka Chopra –  the Veteran of over 50 Bollywood films’

But South Asia’s biggest moments were the back-to-back announcements for the best documentary short and the best documentary feature.

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Four years ago, filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy created history by winning Pakistan’s first Oscar for her 2012 film about acid attacks,  Saving Face. On Sunday (Feb. 28), she repeated history, clinching the best documentary short award for her film,  A Girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness.

The 40-minute film portrays the story of a 19-year-old girl Saba Qaiser from Punjab in Pakistan, who was shot in her head and dumped in a river for eloping with her fiance. She somehow escaped””and lived on to tell her story.

“Thank god I have two of them now. This is what happens when determined women get together for Saba, the woman in my film, who remarkably survived an honour killing and shared her story,” Obaid-Chinoy said in her acceptance speech.

“To all brave men out there, and my husband, who push women to go to school and work,” she added.

Soon after Chinoy’s film, the feature-length film  Amy  was awarded the best documentary feature””translating into an Oscar victory for 44-year-old Indian-origin British director Asif Kapadia.

The documentary captures the life and death of English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse. “We just wanted to make a film to show the world who she really was,” Kapadia said in his acceptance speech. Last week,  Amy  was named the best documentary feature at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The Oscars this year courted controversy on being White from  many quarters with accusations  that  they do  not encourage diversity.

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Leonardo Dcaprio’s “The Revenant” had a golden run at the 88th Academy Awards, with its lead actor breaking his Oscar jinx by winning the best actor trophy and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was named the best director. DiCaprio, who had been nominated for the golden statuette four times for his acting earlier, took home his first Academy Award in the Actor in a Leading Role category for his power-packed performance in “The Revenant”. He received a standing ovation and accepted the honour with an impactful speech, in which he addressed climate change.

Brie Larson won her first Oscar in the Actress in a Leading Role category for her portrayal of a kidnapped girl imprisoned by a psychopath in “Room”.

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