Rahman creates history as ‘Slumdog’ turns top dog at Oscars (Lead)

February 23rd, 2009 - 12:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireLos Angeles, Feb 23 (IANS) Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman made history as he became the first Indian to win two Oscars as “Slumdog Millionaire”, the rags to riches story of a boy from the slums of Mumbai, swept the annual Academy Awards.
British director Danny Boyle’s hit film not only won the Oscars for best picture and best director at Sunday night’s annual Academy Awards ceremony at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, but also for six others including two for Rahman.

Rahman, the third Indian to win the coveted golden statuette, picked up the awards for his best original score as also the best original song “Jai ho” from the film with lyrics by Gulzar and Sukhwinder Singh as the lead singer.

“God is great!” Rahman exclaimed in Tamil as he picked up the awards, saying he was as excited and terrified before coming here as he was at his marriage.

Competing with “Jai ho” for the second Oscar was another song composed by Rahman, “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”, with its lyrics too written by him with Maya Arulpragasam (MIA). He also sang the song with Maya, the British singer of Sri Lankan origin.

Apart from Rahman, India’s Resul Pookutty shared the Oscar with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke in the sound mixing category in the rags-to-riches story.

“This is unbelievable. I share this stage with two magicians”, who transformed the very ordinary sounds of Mumbai, Pookutty said. Dedicating the award “to my country”, he said: “It is not an award, but history being handed over to me.”

Simon Beaufoy, who won the Oscar for adapted screenplay, complimented Indian diplomat and Vikas Swarup on whose novel “Q and A” the film is based. “We would not be here without Vikas Swarup,” he said.

The crowd-pleasing story of a boy from the slums of Mumbai who goes on to win the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” also won the awards for film editing by Chris Dickens and best cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle.

Only Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers lost out in the sound editing category to Richard King for “The Dark Knight”.

“Slumdog” has been the winter’s surprise winner, racking up victories at practically every juncture. The Golden Globes gave “Slumdog” its top award; so did the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

India-themed documentary “Smile Pinki” by American filmmaker Megan Mylan - a heartwarming tale of a poor village girl called Pinki whose cleft lip made her a social outcast, till her life changed after a meeting with a social worker also picked up an Oscar.

It edged out “The Final Inch” by American documentary makers Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant about health workers travelling throughout Uttar Pradesh, urging parents to vaccinate their children against polio.

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