Alison Greenberg was a producer for Saving Face and is manager of foundation and donor relations for the Denver Film Society. She wrote this first-person account of her trip to the Oscars with the crew of Saving Face, a documentary which won the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short.
BY ALISON GREENBERG
I have to keep reminding myself that Sunday actually happened.
You don't go into documentaries looking for glitz and glamor. That is not why we did Saving Face and we rarely get the chance for any star treatment. We do it because we care about stories and truth-telling. We do it to raise awareness about issues that should be on everyone's radar.
But this ride was pretty *#@$*% awesome.
I recently (as in the past year) told my fiancée that my ten-year goal was to win an Oscar as a documentary producer, and thanks to the amazing work of our co-directors Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and our editor/producer Davis Coombe, as well as the rest of the Saving Face team -- and of course the fabulous Dr. Mohammad Jawad -- I get to say that I achieved my life long goal at 27 -- while living in Colorado. To say it is surreal is an understatement.
The morning of the Academy Awards set the tone for the rest of the day. I arrived at the Four Seasons at 11 a.m. for hair and makeup with Sharmeen and Daniel's wife Erin. The lobby was literally overflowing with makeup and hair artists, stylists, PR reps and press. It took twenty minutes to get an elevator. On one elevator ride, Jean Dujardin (the star of The Artist and eventual Best Actor winner) stood next to me and in his wonderful French accent asked, "are you getting ready for the Oscars?"
At 2:30 p.m., the team assembled and piled into our limos to head to the Kodak Theatre. After passing a security blockade that included checking our limo for bombs, we arrived and Daniel and Sharmeen were sent down the press line while the rest of the team walked the red carpet and tried to get a glimpse of everyone and anyone while being herded like cattle pass the cameras into the theater. Once I saw "The Dictator" arrive with his entourage of scantly clad buxom-y soldiers, I had a great feeling about the night.
At 5:30 p.m. the show began and we sat and watched three-fourths of the show pass by before the ladies from Bridesmaids took the stage to announce our award. At that moment, I thought, "Okay, even if we don't win, how cool is it to say that the Bridesmaids announced our film." But it is a hell of a lot cooler when they announced Saving Face as the winner!(Co-directors Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy)
Daniel told us that after they gave their speech, the first people to greet them backstage were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Around 11 p.m. we met Daniel and Sharmeen back at the Four Seasons and jumped back into our limos for the Vanity Fair party. When the security asked for our tickets, Daniel simply showed them the Golden Man in our car and we went right in, no questions asked. I told him to try that in the security line at the airport. The Vanity Fair party was just like any other party except every person in the room is probably the most famous person you have ever met. Even Tebow was there. The highlight of my night was finding my fiancee at the bar taking a shot with Jonah Hill and Jason Segal.Saving Face
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is the first film to be nominated from Pakistan and we are using the national and international attention the film is receiving to kick off an outreach campaign along with other nonprofit organizations like the Acid Survivors Foundation to help eradicate acid attacks not only in Pakistan, but around the world.
Daniel and Sharmeen are traveling the US for screenings and will return to Denver on March 7 for the Denver premiere of the film during the Denver Film Society's Women+Film Voices Film Festival. Then we are traveling to Europe to screen the film during the Human Rights Watch Festival in London and the Movies that Matter Festival in the Hague. For more information or if you would like to donate to the outreach campaign, please visit our website at www.savingfacefilm.com.
Saving Face shows at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 7 at the Denver Film Center on Colfax. (Saving Face on the Denver Film Center website.)