After last year's Oscar success of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Smile Pinki" (the OTHER Oscar-winning film about poor children set in India, for Best Documentary), it will be a quiet year for South Asia at this year's Academy Awards.
I've found two South Asia-related nominations (are there others?). One is "Kavi" for Short Film (Live Action). From the movie site:
Did you know slavery still exists? There’s more slavery today than the entire 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade. Click the photo to see the “Kavi” trailer & learn more. Kavi is a boy in India who wants to play cricket and go to school, but instead he is forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave. Unsatisfied with his fate, Kavi must either accept what he’s always been told, or fight for a different life even if he’s unsure of the ultimate outcome.
KaviTheMovie.com has more info, including contact information for the director, Gregg Helvey.
The other is "Burma VJ" for Documentary (Feature). From the movie site:
Going beyond the occasional news clip from Burma, the acclaimed filmmaker, Anders Østergaard, brings us close to the video journalists who deliver the footage. Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country. Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media. The whole world has witnessed single event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their individual images have been carefully put together and at once, they tell a much bigger story. The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching.
”Joshua”, age 27, is one of the young video journalists, who works undercover to counter the propaganda of the military regime. Joshua is suddenly thrown into the role as tactical leader of his group of reporters, when the monks lead a massive but peaceful uprising against the military regime. After decades of oblivion - Burma returns to the world stage, but at the same time foreign TV crews are banned from entering the country, so it is left to Joshua and his crew to document the events and establish a lifeline to the surrounding world. It is their footage that keeps the revolution alive on TV screens all over.
Post your comments below.
SEE ALL THE SAJAFORUM COVERAGE OF SLUMDOG: