"Slumdog" sweeps British film awards

Sun Feb 8, 2009 5:23pm EST
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By Kylie MacLellan and Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - Low-budget Indian drama "Slumdog Millionaire" swept the BAFTA film awards Sunday winning best film, director and five other categories, giving it another boost ahead of the Oscars later this month.

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.

Slumdog director Danny Boyle gave a restrained acceptance speech, but earlier defended his film on the red carpet against criticism in India to the movie's name, which some slum dwellers find offensive, its depiction of the lives of impoverished Indians and the treatment of the cast.

He told Reuters the children in the film had been paid well and that the makers of the movie went to great lengths to make sure they would be well cared for after the film was forgotten.

"We also put in place an educational plan for the children which we are sticking to and we will be there for them long after the fuss has died down," Boyle said ahead of the awards.

Kate Winslet, a double Golden Globe winner, won the leading actress award for her role as a former concentration camp guard in "The Reader."

"I want to thank my mum and dad, who I won't look at otherwise I will burst into tears," she said at London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.


<p>Director Danny Boyle arrives for the 2009 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 8, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>