"Slumdog" heads for UK's BAFTA film awards crown

Fri Feb 6, 2009 12:30pm EST
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By Kylie Maclellan

LONDON (Reuters) - Low-budget Indian drama "Slumdog Millionaire" goes into Britain's top film awards on Sunday with 11 nominations and hopes of building on its Golden Globes success to get another boost ahead of the Oscars later this month.

It is 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 the drama "Changeling," which won eight.

"Frost/Nixon" has six nominations, "The Reader" five and "In Bruges," "Milk" and "Revolutionary Road" four apiece.

"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 last month with four honors including best drama.

At the BAFTAs, which will be handed out on in London on Sunday, it was shortlisted for best film, while director Danny Boyle, who made the acclaimed "Trainspotting" in 1996, is in the running for the best director award.

The movie's international success has been tempered by objections in India to the name, which some slum dwellers find offensive, its depiction of the lives of impoverished Indians and the treatment of the cast.

Boyle, who has faced accusations from some parts of the Indian media that his film is "poverty porn," has said he was trying to capture Mumbai's "lust for life."

Eighteen-year-old "Slumdog" star Dev Patel is also vying for best leading actor when the BAFTAs are handed out at a gala event at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.   Continued...

<p>A boy walks past publicity posters of Golden Globe award-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" in Mumbai January 22, 2009. REUTERS/Arko Datta</p>