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Indian poverty under Oscar scanner again

There's no blockbuster like Slumdog Millionaire in the reckoning but India's poverty story is again under the Oscar scanner with US director Gregg Helvey's Hindi film Kavi. Read on...

entertainment Updated: Feb 03, 2010 14:15 IST

There's no blockbuster like Slumdog Millionaire in the reckoning but India's poverty story is again under the Oscar scanner with US director Gregg Helvey's Hindi film Kavi about child labour being nominated in the short film (live action) category.

Produced by Guneet Monga, Harish Amin and Helvey, Kavi tells the story of a young boy who wants to play cricket and go to school but is forced to work in a brick kiln.

Last year, the India story was projected through three films -- Slumdog Millionaire, the rags to riches story of a slum boy, and two documentaries The Final Inch and Smile Pinki.

While the The Final Inch was about health workers travelling throughout Uttar Pradesh, urging parents to get their children vaccinated against polio, Smile Pinki focused on a girl whose cleft lip made her a social outcast till her life changed after a meeting with a social worker.

Slumdog won eight Oscars, and Pinki took home a golden statuette in the short documentary feature category.

In an earlier era, veteran Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, was criticised by actress Nargis for "selling Indian poverty abroad to win awards".

Ray's masterpieces include the Apu trilogy, Ashani Sanket, Jana Aranya, Mahanagar and Pratidwandi.