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Cheyenne native wins Oscar

Chiefs filmmaker wins Oscar for new project

Feb 29, 2012 - By Josh Rhoten, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Daniel Junge's phone hasn't stopped ringing since Sunday night.

The Cheyenne native won an Academy Award at the 84th annual Academy Awards for his work co-directing the short documentary "Saving Face."

On Monday, it seemed like everyone wanted to send their congratulations through a text message, an e-mail or a phone call.

"They just keep coming in," he said.

Junge is familiar to Fremont County and Wyoming audiences for his 2002 documentary "Chiefs," which chronicled two seasons of Wyoming Indian High School boys basketball team.

It won the outstanding documentary award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

His Oscar acceptance speech Sunday was short, thanking a handful of people, including his wife, before yielding the floor to his co-director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

"I think it would have been really tacky for me, as the white male westerner, to hog the microphone," Junge said by phone Monday. "I think it was much more important to see that a strong Pakistani woman made this film. That's an important vision for the world to see."

Junge thanked numerous people backstage, including his parents, and a former teacher at Cheyenne's East High, Bruce Robbins, through a dedicated camera to be broadcast later online.

"Saving Face" looks at the more than 100 people attacked with acid every year in Pakistan n most of them women. The documentary examines this social problem through the eyes of two female survivors of such attacks.

Along with his co-director credit, Junge also served as a co-producer of the film, traveling to Pakistan with Obaid-Chinoy during the shooting.

The movie, which runs 40 minutes, will first air March 8 on HBO, and Junge said he also is in talks to bring it to the Cheyenne International Film Festival in May.

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