Game Changers Malala, Sharmeen To Receive Asia Society Award



Pakistan’s sole Oscar winner filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and teenage peace activist Malala Yousufzai have been nominated for the first ever Asia Game Changer Awards announced by the Asia Society a global organization highlighting achievements of individuals who excel in various spheres of life.

The awards ceremony will be held on October 16 at the United Nations Complex in New York where several other prominent figures will also be in attendance.

This is not the first time award winning filmmaker Obaid Chinoy or the brave young activist Malala has been internationally honored.

Obaid Chinoy shot to fame after her compelling documentary named Saving Face in 2012 and won hard earned praise on a global level. Co directed by US-based Daniel Junge Saving Face narrated the story of a Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad who performs re constructive surgery on acid attack survivors in Pakistan.


Her first big documentary Children of the Taliban also won the Emmy Award for best documentary in 2010.

Obaid Chinoy was honored along with Asia Society’s Asia 21 young leaders the network has also given vast credit to her work which is based on human rights.

The forum quoted Obaid Chinoy as saying once “by bringing the voices of the ordinary people faced with extraordinary challenges to television screens around the world I hope to affect change in one community at a time”.

She recently presented for screening in Karachi a series titled ‘I Heart Karachi’. The series comprises five short documentaries describing the life of Karachi based individuals who constantly imperil their lives to serve others.

“I’m 35 years old. I started working when I was 14 and it has been over 12 years since I’ve been making documentaries. I’ve made 17 films in over 12 countries. So I’m not a one hit wonder. In the global world I know where I am. I know if I want to pick the phone and call a television channel anywhere in the world and give them my credentials I’ll get a film commissioned. So I’m not worried about the naysayers” she had said.

The Asia Game Changer Awards list includes the 16 years old Malala Yousufzai as well from Pakistan who survived a Taliban assassination attempt back in 2012 for her anti Taliban views.

Malala is also a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and an advocate for girls’ education. She has widely campaigned for the educational rights of the marginalized communities on global platforms.


She also had the honor of addressing the United Nations last year where she fiercely reiterated her stance against extremism and voiced in favor of promotion of educational rights worldwide.

“I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me I would not shoot him.” The extremists were and they are afraid of books and pens the power of education. The power of education silenced them. They are afraid of women” she had said.

Malala was recently in Nigeria to support an international campaign for the release of the teenage students abducted in mid April by the insurgent group Boko Haram.

Names and contributions of other Nominees

Below are the names and contributions of the other 2014 recipients selected by the Asia Society.

Game Changer of the Year Jack Ma Chairman of the Alibaba Group for history making business and philanthropy in China.

Shigeru Ban Founder Shigeru Ban Architects for finding beauty and hope in the landscapes of disaster.

Madhav Chavan Co Founder and CEO of the Pratham Charitable Trust for bringing the gift of literacy to millions of Indians.

Illac Diaz Founder MyShelter Foundation and Liter of Light for bringing light literally to so many lives. Fashion Girls for Humanity for demonstrating that ‘looking good’ and ‘doing good’ can be one and the same.

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto Minister and Senior Advisor to the Indonesian President selected for providing a brilliant blueprint for responding to disaster.

Saad Mohseni Chairman of the MOBY Group for bringing news information and entertainment to a barren landscape.

Jacqueline Novogratz Founder and CEO of Acumen for changing the way the world tackles poverty. Playing for Change selected for using the power of music to spread a global message of hope.

Pawan Sinha Professor at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT for a truly visionary approach to treating India’s blind.

Zhang Minxuan Professor at the Shanghai Normal University for leveling the playing field by providing quality education to millions in China.

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