January 23, 2009 / 12:11 PM / 8 years ago

"Slumdog" gives India a shot at Oscar glory

3 Min Read

<p>British director Danny Boyle speaks during a news conference for his new film "Slumdog Millionaire" in Mumbai January 20, 2009.Punit Paranjpe</p>

MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - India woke up on Friday to news of "Slumdog Millionaire" bagging 10 Academy Award nominations as the media toasted the success of a critically acclaimed film the country claims as its own.

The rags-to-riches story about a boy from one of the Mumbai's teeming slums competing on a TV gameshow has been nominated for best director, best adapted screenplay and best picture at the Academy Awards, and in seven other categories.

"Rah Rah Rahman" screamed a front-page headline in the Times of India newspaper, a leading English-language daily, referring to the three Oscar nominations for the film's Indian music composer, A.R. Rahman.

Hindustan Times, another English daily, dubbed it the "Perfect 10."

The cast and crew of "Slumdog," in Mumbai for the film's Indian premiere on Thursday, seemed overwhelmed by the attention.

"It's incredible isn't it? For us to be here, premiering the film on the night of the Oscar nominations is just incredible," producer Christian Colson told Reuters, shouting to be heard above the sound of traditional Indian drums and members of the cast dancing on the red carpet.

"It's destiny, which is what our film is about," Colson said.

"Slumdog Millionaire" has already won four honors at the Golden Globes this month including best drama, and been nominated for 11 BAFTA awards.

But for a country that has rarely tasted Oscar glory, 10 Academy Award nominations are a special treat.

Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray was awarded a special Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1992 while Bhanu Athaiya won for best costume design in the 1982 film "Gandhi."

"India's arrival at the mecca of film awards was nothing short of spectacular. The bonanza also belatedly made up for years of lacklustre performance in this most coveted cinema competition," the Times of India said..

Though directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle, the film has a mostly Indian cast and apart from Rahman's three nominations, Resul Pookutty also got the nod for best sound mixing.

Editing by Tony Tharakan and Sugita Katyal

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