Celebrating 20 years in filmmaking as a storyteller, the two-time Academy Award winner has now set her sights on launching a food museum.
s there anything Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (SOC) can’t do? In one word, no.
She can tell stories of those who have been damaged by the country’s archaic traditions, but she can also tell animated stories ft. some of the biggest actors of our time with the rebirth of cinema between 2012-2013. She has also shone light on those who do good work in their community but don’t get any kind of applause or even acknowledgment.
For Sharmeen, 2022 was another remarkable year. And we will get to it shortly.
However, the latest initiative that caught our attention from SOC Films, which Sharmeen helms, was the announcement of a Museum of Food – earlier this month.
SOC astutely observed that while our love affair with culinary arts is a cultural moor and a part of our heritage, it is also true that traditional food recipes and “certain domestic practices” are on the verge of becoming lost due to myriad reasons. In an effort to conserve what may be lost, SOC Films has made a concrete effort to ensure that there are no damaging gaps in such an important fabric of our society and heritage.
For the last three years, SOC Films has been recording and documenting stories about food from all around the country. The culmination of these stories has taken shape with SOC launching a Museum of Food. The initiative will preserve and “and revive the country’s unique and diverse food culture”.
Said a press statement, “The Museum of Food will be an online repository featuring Pakistani food stories, for which SOC Films is now actively researching and looking for further authentic and uncommon recipes and food practices from all over the country, especially from women, which are in danger of being forgotten”.
Speaking about this initiative, Sharmeen explained, “I grew up in a household, where my grandmother preserved our recipes, and I don’t see many of those left in Pakistan.
I grew up in a household, where my grandmother preserved our recipes, and I don’t see many of those left in Pakistan. Our Museum of Food is our attempt to ensure that the coming generations remain in touch with our culture, lineage and food practices. – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“Our Museum of Food is our attempt to ensure that the coming generations remain in touch with our culture, lineage and food practices.”
It doesn’t end with simply recovering, documenting food reci-pes. “SOC Films,” confirmed a press statement, “is also interested in stories related to traditional and modern agricultural practices in Pakistan, including those that are at risk of being lost or have been impacted by climate change. Home cooks, chefs and foodies, are therefore all invited to share their personal food stories with SOC Films.”
A noble goal, if there can be one within popular culture and heritage. Curious folks must head to SOC Film’s Instagram page.
Meanwhile, coming back to a big year for SOC, in December of 2022, she completed 20 years in the field of filmmaking (fiction and nonfiction) and journalism. She is a recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz, 2 Academy Awards, 4 Emmy Awards and the Knight International Journalism Award. Following this momentous occasion of two decades (professional, personal) as a filmmaker and journalist, SOC’s journey has been converted into a digital exhibit called #SOC20 that’s available on her Instagram page. It gives us a peak into mentors and colleagues, her early days as a journalist, and her aim to tell important stories from behind the lens.
Noted Sharmeen about #SOC20, “It has been 20 years since I began my journey as a filmmaker. The past two decades have presented immense opportunities and challenges alike, these years and the films I made during these years have formed me as a creator, collaborator, director, colleague, parent and human being.
“As an attempt to document and commemorate this journey and the changemakers, mentors and fellow creators I have worked with, my team and I present #SOC20: A digital exhibit of twenty years of film and stories that matter.”
If you’re sitting on a recipe that may disappear as these things do, reach out to SOC Films, and if you want to see how a young journalist began her journey, her experiences, a glimpse into her life and the fearlessness it takes to follow stories, check out her exhibit.