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Birmingham charity up for the Emmys

17th July, 2013

An Oscar-winning film featuring the work of Islamic Help has received five nominations in television’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Saving Face, which highlights the plight of acid attack victims, picked up the Oscar for Best Documentary Short in 2012. It has now been nominated in five categories in this year’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, it profiles two survivors of acid violence in Pakistan and follows them as they try to come to terms with their attacks, rebuild their lives and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The film also highlights the work of Islamic Help with survivors of acid violence. The charity has funded surgery as well as setting up rehabilitation and livelihood projects for hundreds of victims in countries like Pakistan, Cambodia, Uganda and Nepal.

Its work has been praised by the Princess Royal and its supporters include Katie Piper, a model who suffered third degree burns when a former boyfriend arranged for acid to be thrown in her face.

Fundraising and communications director Zaheer Khan said: “The Oscar win was a tremendous achievement for Saving Face and we’re hoping that it will receive further recognition at the Emmys. It certainly deserves it.

“Its subject matter doesn’t often attract attention and while it’s rare for acid attacks in Britain, there have been one or two cases recently which have brought it to public attention and highlighted the physical and psychological devastation it can cause.

“It’s one of the cruellest forms of violence and in the majority of cases it’s women and children who are the victims. Too often, the medical help they require and the rehabilitation support is lacking, which is why through our Smiles Better campaign we fund surgery and livelihood projects to give them the confidence to reintegrate into their societies.

"It's not only acid attack survivors who benefit from our programme but children born with cleft lips and palates, who are given the chance to smile again."

Saving Face is among the contenders for Best Documentary and four other categories at the 34th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards, organised by The National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences. The awards ceremony will be held on October 1 in New York.