‘You have one life to live’: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reflects on her new documentary

Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker co-directed ‘Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman In Charge’

‘You have one life to live’: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reflects on her new documentary
Photo: AFP

Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy recently spoke to WWD about following one’s dreams, dreaming big and balancing career and motherhood, as her new documentary ‘Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman In Charge’, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

The film will be available to stream on Hulu on June 25 and will explore Von Furstenberg’s 50-year career.

Obaid-Chinoy had keen words to share about her subject, the veteran designer who she said has taught her some “valuable life lessons, especially about balancing a career and motherhood,” according to WWD.

“You have one life to live and you have to follow your dreams and your heart. And if men can follow their dreams and follow their heart, why can’t women?”

“That means you might miss events in your children’s lives while you’re on the road, but it doesn’t mean you love them any less.”

“That’s such an important lesson,” Obaid-Chinoy was quoted as saying.

“She reinforced that in me. In hearing Diane’s story, I learned so much about my own life and what I need to do,” said Obaid-Chinoy.

The filmmaker also spoke about her own career trajectory and the importance of balancing motherhood.

“She’s encouraged me to dream big. I’ve always dreamt big, but she said to me, ‘dream bigger.’”

“We talk about the impact of our families and the impact of politics and who we are and where we came from. I mean, she’s a child of a Holocaust survivor and I’m a Muslim woman, and I’m telling her story,” she was quoted as saying.

Obaid-Shinoy recalled when she started out in film, she was filming in war zones and countries in turmoil.

“In my early years, I would make films and you would see me wearing a red scarf on my head. I wanted people to know that I was a woman even though I had a very tough exterior.”

“When I went into a war zone, people around me would say, ‘Temper down, don’t stand out, don’t wear anything that’s colorful and don’t draw attention to yourself as a woman,’” she was quoted as saying.

“I would say to them, ‘I am a woman. They need to see and recognize I’m a woman.’ And I didn’t know where that was coming from.”

Speaking about the new film Obaid-Chinoy said she hopes people draw strength from it.

“For me, Diane exemplifies what it means to open doors for other women. And if every single woman was to open a door for other women, we would be living in a completely different world.”

Earlier this year, Obaid-Chinoy and Von Fursternberg appeared at the World Economic Forum (WEF) together in Davos, and spoke about challenging misogyny, and urged women to take charge of their lives.

Obaid-Chinoy has won Oscars for two of her documentary shorts: ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ and ‘Saving Face’.

She is also the director of the upcoming film ‘Star Wars: The Next Jedi,’ the first woman to direct a ‘Star Wars’ feature film.