Academy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has won the 2018 Eliasson Global Leadership Prize for her “extraordinary, courageous leadership” awarded by The Tällberg Foundation in New York.
The filmmaker and activist, who has previously won accolades for using her platform to highlight social issues, is the first Pakistani to win the prestigious award.
The award recognises Sharmeen’s “leadership and work that is courageous, optimistic dynamic, rooted in universal values and fundamentally global in reach, conception and impact”.
Chinoy said that she is honoured to be given the award at a time “when holding up a mirror to society comes with a heavy price”.
“With colleagues being jailed and killed around the world for simply speaking the truth, we need to have the courage to persevere. I remain committed to telling difficult stories in the hope that the conversations they spark will change the way we all see the world,” she said.
The jury cited Sharmeen’s “increasingly insistent and effective leadership not only in changing minds through her filmmaking, but also in working to change realities that should be unacceptable in the 21st century.”
The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize originated in 2005. The 2018 winners also include Rafael Yuste, a leading neuroscientist and artificial intelligence researcher, and Imam Omar Kobine Layama, a Central African Imam dedicated to promoting peace in the region.