INTERVIEW: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Waadi Animations pushes Pak films into animation space


Academy Award winner, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. With former UK foreign secretary William Hague  
Academy Award winner, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. With former UK foreign secretary William Hague

After unearthing the horrors of acid attacks and recruitment of child terrorists, Pakistan’s Oscar and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has put her creative forces behind “3 Bahadur”, said to be the country’s first animated feature film in Urdu.

She says her homeland has a pool of animation talent.

Obaid-Chinoy is the chief executive at Waadi Animations, a joint venture by ARY Films and SOC Films, which will produce animated content that would include feature films, short films, animated TV series and commercials.
As part of her role, the filmmaker of “Saving Face” and “Children Of The Taliban” fame, heads the overall creative spectrum of the different projects pursued by the company.
“We have such a talented group of animators in Pakistan, I am excited to share their creativity with the rest of the world. This partnership will allow us to create animated super heroes and heroines that will no doubt make us laugh and cry and most importantly entertain us all,” Obaid-Chinoy said in a statement.
“We all have an inner child and at Waadi Animations we will endeavor to always nurture the imaginations of that child,” added the filmmaker, who became the first Pakistani to win an Academy Award courtesy her hard-hitting documentary “Saving Face” in 2012.
Waadi Animations’s first film “3 Bahadur” is already in production phase and is targeted for release in summer 2015.
Replete with unlikely heroes, menacing villains, fumbling thugs, dark horses, moments of triumph and bouts of despair, the film promises to be packed with action, comedy and heart-rendering moments.
Based in a fictional town in Pakistan, 11 years old Amna, Saadi and Kamil set out to save their community from the many evils that plague it. The film is a journey of fighting back, taking charge, and finding support and love in the most improbable of places.
Salman Iqbal, founder and president, ARY Digital Network, is glad that in the past couple of years, Pakistan has shown immense talent as far as movie making is concerned. But he believes they have an “equally strong and resilient animation development resource”.
“We have to bring them in the mainstream movie circuit and deliver the goods to a huge population of young cinema enthusiasts still hooked on to international animated movies because we don’t make our own. I am pretty confident that this will start a new era of animated films in Pakistan and help in expanding the market here,” Iqbal added.