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Two-time Academy Award-winning film-maker, journalist and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has once again made Pakistan proud by winning the prestigious 2018 Eliasson Global Leadership Prize.

Sharmeen is the first Pakistani to win the honour due to her extraordinary leadership and work that is courageous, optimistic, dynamic, rooted in universal values and fundamentally global in reach, conception, and impact.

The filmmaker, who is universally celebrated has been chosen from among 825 nominees from 130 countries and dozens of different occupations, positions, and causes. This is a great achievement for not only her but Pakistan as a nation. In selecting Sharmeen, the jury praised her 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.

“I am honored to receive the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize 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,” stated Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on winning the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize.


Winners of the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize began in 2005 and given in its current form since 2014, are nominated at large through an open, online process and are ultimately selected by a jury of people who themselves are accomplished leaders from a range of countries and disciplines. The Eliasson prizes are supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Other than Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the 2018 laureates include, Rafael Yuste and Imam Omar Kobine Layama.