"Slumdog Millionaire" leads BAFTA film nominations

Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:37am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Low-budget Indian drama "Slumdog Millionaire" picked up 11 nominations at Britain's top film awards on Thursday, building on its Golden Globes success and giving it another boost ahead of the Oscars next month.

It was tied at the top with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," starring Brad Pitt, followed by Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" which won nine BAFTA nominations and Clint Eastwood's drama "Changeling," which won eight.

"Frost/Nixon" has six nominations, "The Reader" five and "In Bruges," "Milk" and "Revolutionary Road" four apiece, organizers of the Orange British Academy Film Awards said.

Slumdog Millionaire, a British picture about a young man from the slums of Mumbai who seeks to rise from rags to riches by winning a Hindi TV game show, triumphed at the Golden Globes earlier this month with four honors including best drama.

At the BAFTAs it was shortlisted for best film, while Danny Boyle, who made the acclaimed "Trainspotting" in 1996, is in the running for the best director award.

"We have spent much time away making this film in Bollywood and then promoting it in Hollywood," Boyle said in a statement.

"Witnessing these two tectonic plates of filmmaking stare at one another has been extraordinary - especially being a Brit caught in the middle of it."

Eighteen-year-old Dev Patel is also vying for best leading actor when the BAFTAs are handed out in London on February 8.   Continued...

<p>Actor Dev Patel from the film "Slumdog Millionaire" arrives at the 2008 National Board of Review awards gala in New York January 14, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>