February 27, 2012

'Undefeated,' 'Saving Face' Take Documentary Oscars

Undefeated, which follows the season-in-the-life of an inner city high school football team in Memphis, took the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.  "A year ago today we were sitting in our editing room, depressed, thinking nobody was ever going to see this movie,"
director/producer Dan Lindsay exclaimed upon accepting the award. "A friend said, 'Don't worry; next year you'll be at the Oscars,' and we said, 'You're an idiot.' So we'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to him and say you're a lot smarter than we thought." Director/producer JT Martin added, "We would also like to acknowledge our fellow nominees. They have inspired us in so many ways. They should be up here with us—actually that would be fucking cool!
[The F-bomb was, of course bleeped out of the telecast, but we happily share it with you here.]" Lindsay also acknowledged producers Ed Cunningham, Glen Zipper and Seth Gordon, as well as Ralph Zipper and Zipper Bros Films, Chris Miller and Thom Powers, who screened the film at DOC NYC. Producer Rich Middlemas gave shout-outs to Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, Nigel Sinclair and

Responding to a question backstage about the documentary category, Lindsay remarked, "There's an unbelievable grouping in films. Paradise Lost, they freed three people out of jail, and that's incredible. Hell and Back Again is one of the most cinematic documentaries I've ever seen. Pina is pushing boundaries. If a Tree Falls is intelligent and inspiring. Because of the technology, there's a way to make films that you couldn't make before and you can tell stories that you couldn't tell before, and I think people are clamoring for something genuine."

Saving Face, which tells the story of two Pakistani women, both acid attack survivors, and their journey to recovery and justice for their attackers, took the Oscar® for Best Documentary Short Subject. After thanking his family, HBO and the London-based, Pakistani-born plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, director Daniel Junge graciously turned the podium over to director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who delivered a heartfelt homage to the women of Pakistan.


Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (left) and Daniel Junge en route to accepting their Oscars® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Saving Face. Photo: Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Backstage, Obaid-Chinoy, acknowledging that she was the first Pakistani to ever win an Academy Award®, said, "I hope that this will be an impetus to getting a more flourishing film industry in Pakistan."