The 10 Oscar nominations for the film Slumdog Millionaire, set amid the slums of Mumbai, have generated excitement, pride and some controversy in India. The Indian film industry is especially jubilant at the three nominations won by the film's Indian music composer A.R. Rahman.
Indians flocked to movie theaters to watch the widely acclaimed movie Slumdog Millionaire when it was released Friday across the country.
The film, made by British Director Danny Boyle, opened just a day after the country excitedly heard the news that it got 10 Oscar nominations, including one for best picture.
The movie has created a huge buzz in the country ever since it shot into the international spotlight after bagging four awards at the Golden Globes.
The film tells the story of a boy from the teeming slums of Mumbai, who wins a popular game show. It stars a string of Indian actors, it is co directed by an Indian, and the music is composed by well known Indian composer, A.R. Rahman.
Indians are especially jubilant over the three nominations for composer Rahman for best original score and two of his songs. Rahman has called it an "unexpected" opportunity to bring Indian music to the rest of the world.
"No, it was unexpected…..a lot of people predicted, I never took it seriously," he said.
Though made by a British director, the film has been enthusiastically embraced by the Indian film industry known as Bollywood as one of its own.
At a function held in Mumbai to mark the opening of the film, top Bollywood stars hoped the film, with its predominantly Indian cast and crew, will bring global recognition to Indian technicians, actors and musicians.
"They have shown us the way, now we all just have to follow," one person said.
"Danny Boyle has bridged the gap between Hollywood and Bollywood," said another.
"We are all very excited," a third person said.
But the film has also sparked controversy. Some have slammed it for what they call its "glorification of poverty" through its vivid portrayal of life in the teeming slums of Mumbai. They say it romanticizes slums, shows prostitution and crime as "Indian exotica", and reinforces Western stereotypes about India.
A group of slumdwellers led by a social activist in Mumbai has called the film's title insulting, and is demanding that it should be changed. On Thursday, protestors in Mumbai held up banners saying "I am not a dog" and "Poverty for Sale."
But despite the controversy, the film, which has already received a good response from Western audiences, is likely to have a good run in India.