Arts and Culture / News

DU ties to Oscar night

Alison Greenberg and Davis Coombe at the Oscars.

The most fabulous night in the world of film may have taken place in Hollywood, but there was still a University of Denver connection.

Two people with DU ties were winners at the Oscars when the film “Saving Face” won the award for best short documentary. The film was directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.  It was produced by Junge, Obaid-Chinoy, Alison Greenberg, the daughter of DU Vice Chancellor for Institutional Partnerships David Greenberg, and Davis Coombe, nephew of Chancellor Robert Coombe, as well as two co-producers.

The work relates the horrific crime of acid attacks on women in Pakistan and the efforts of a British doctor determined to help victims heal.

Alison Greenberg says the night of glamour is an unusual break in the lives of documentarians.

“In the documentary world, being part of the glitz and glamor of the Academy Awards is a rarity,” she says. “All the films in our category were amazing. It has been a wild ride, and the culmination of over two years of hard work. This is the first film and the first director from Pakistan that has ever won an Oscar, so it is a really big deal in Pakistan. Our whole team is honored by this recognition.”

For the “Saving Face” team, winning an Oscar is just the start.

“The film is just the beginning of our goal to bring global awareness to this issue and eradicate acid attacks on women. This is not only an issue in Pakistan, it happens all over the Middle East, in Africa and in Southeast Asia,” Greenberg says. “We are working on an outreach campaign with the Acid Survivors’ Foundation and other grassroots organizations to provide support and outreach such as post-traumatic stress counseling, legal representation and medical services.”

Moving forward, the team will showcase the now award-winning film at the Human Rights Film Festival in London and then move on to The Hague for the Movies That Matter Festival.

“We will continue our work to raise awareness about the victims of acid violence,” Greenberg says.

“Saving Face” will air March 8 on HBO.  A special preview of the 39 minute film will be shown in Denver during the 2nd Annual Women + Film Voices Film Festival on March 7 at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. Tickets are available at http://denverfilm.org/index.aspx.  For more information or to donate contact Alison@denverfilm.org.

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