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Pakistani 'Honor Killing' Documentary Wins Academy Award

Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscar for best short documentary for A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness.
Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscar for best short documentary for A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness.

The Pakistani film A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness has won the Academy Award for best short documentary.

The film was honored at the 88th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 28.

The film, by director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who won for short documentary in 2012 for the film Saving Face, about acid-attack victims, is about so-called honor killings in Pakistan.

"This is what happens when determined women get together," Chinoy said as she accepted the award. She also praised "all the brave men out there, like my father and my husband, who push women to go to school and work and who want a more just society for women."

READ NEXT: Interview with director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Under Pakistani law, men who kill female relatives can escape punishment if the woman's relatives "pardon" them in exchange for so-called blood money.

In a statement on February 29, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif described Chinoy as "a pride for the Pakistani nation" and as "a significant source of contribution toward the march of civilization over the world."

Sharif also said that "there is no place for killing in the name of honor in Islam."

He added that his government is in the process of developing legislation to stop such brutal and inhumane acts in the name of honor.

Chinoy recently met with Sharif, who promised to "rid Pakistan of this evil by bringing in appropriate legislation."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also hailed the documentary film, saying it “told the remarkable story of a very courageous young woman who survived an attempt at an honor killing by her father and her uncle."

"And yet even more remarkable was that after the initial screening Prime Minister Sharif pledged to change laws that allow such barbaric practices and murders," Kerry added.

He was welcoming Pakistani Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz to the State Department in Washington on February 29 for the annual U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

WATCH: The trailer for A Girl In The River

Amy, a documentary film about the life of singer Amy Winehouse, won for best documentary film, beating out fellow nominee Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom.

Spotlight, a drama about journalists in Boston uncovering cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, won the best picture award.

Leonardo DiCaprio won the best actor Academy Award, his first win after five total nominations in the category.

DiCaprio, 41, won for his portrayal of 19th-century fur trader in the survival epic The Revenant.

The Revenant also captured the best director award for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, his second such award in two years.

Brie Larson won best actress for her performance in Room.

The best foreign-language film award went to Son Of Saul, a Holocaust drama that becomes the second Hungarian film ever to take the award.

Legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, 87, won for best score for his work on Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

Alicia Vikander won for best supporting actress in The Danish Girl, and Mark Rylance won for best supporting actor in Bridge Of Spies.

The awards this year were marred by controversy because, for the second year in a row, all the major individual nominees were white. Black comedian Chris Rock, who hosted the ceremony, opened the festivities by quipping that it was "the white People's Choice awards."

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters