From slum residents to filmmakers, Indians celebrated as the film Slumdog Millionaire swept eight Oscars and hoped it would bring
global recognition to Indian technical talent. There was also
jubilation that the Oscar for the best short documentary, won by
American filmmaker Megan Mylan, was inspired by an Indian story.
was perhaps the first time ever that some residents of Mumbai's
sprawling Dharavi slum forgot Monday morning's grind and watched
television to hear what news would emerge from the Oscar ceremony in
The crowd broke out in lusty cheers each time the
film bagged an award, although not many residents of Dharavi were even
aware of what exactly the Oscars were.
The heart of the film
Slumdog Millionaire - the rags to riches story of a boy from an Indian
slum - is based in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum. Two of the children
who act in the film came from Dharavi.
The Oscars received by
the movie has triggered a rush of national pride across India,
particularly in Mumbai - the city where India's film industry popularly
known as Bollywood is based.
The film has a British director,
producer and writer. But most of the actors, crew, and locations are
Indian and some won the top recognition in the world of cinema.
Director A.R. Rahman took two Oscars. One came for best score. He
also shared the Oscar for best song, "Jai Ho" with lyricist Gulzar -
also an Indian. Resul Pookutty won an Oscar for best sound mixing.
fans of music composer A.R. Rahman, who has won many national awards,
are confident that the Oscars he has won will give Indian music an
international identity. He is already one of world's best-selling
And, filmmakers are optimistic that these
Oscars will turn the global spotlight on musicians, technicians and
talent from Bollywood.
Bollywood filmmaker Rakeysh Mehra hopes the film will inspire talent to cross borders.
hope we see a lot of kind of coming together of various talents from
all over the world, a lot of amalgamation and kind of collaborations,
whether they are directors or technicians from out west coming here to
make Indian stories or whether it is technicians and directors from
here going out West to make world stories," Mehra said.
the spotlight remained on Slumdog Millionaire, some people noticed
that another Indian story won recognition at the Oscars. American
filmmaker Megan Mylan's short film documentary Smile Pinki is the
story of a poor Indian village girl, who was ostracized because of her
cleft lip, until surgery organized by a social worker transformed her
life by making her a "normal girl".
Millionaire it is a story of hope and triumph, rooted in the poverty
that is widespread in India. Some critics have complained that such
stories reinforce Western stereotypes about India.
much of the country, the Oscar ceremony brought a rush of pride.
Indians have only won two previous Oscars - one in 1982 for costume
designer Bhanu Athaiya and a lifetime achievement award in 1992 for
filmmaker Satyajit Ray. And, seeing stories about India and many
Indians at the center stage of Hollywood's red carpet were moments to