Rahman wins 2 Oscars; Slumdog bags 8 in all

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A R Rahman became the first Indian to win two Oscars for his scintillating music in Slumdog Millionaire which swept the Academy awards by winning eight with one going to sound engineer Resul Pookutty.

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Pokutty shared the Oscar with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke. Rahman shared his second Oscar for best original song for the film's theme number "Jai Ho" with noted lyricist Gulzar.

The achievement is perhaps best seen in perspective when we consider that before this only two Indians had received the honour -- ever. Veteran filmmaker Satyajit Ray was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar in 1992 and prior to that Bhanu Athaiya won an Oscar for costume design in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi in 1983.

And this time alone, there are three awards -- and three Indians -- in the honours list.

There was more good news as Smile Pinki, the tale of a Uttar Pradesh girl and her fight against the social stigma of a cleft-lip, won the Oscar award for Best Documentary (Short). Directed by Emmy-award winning Megan Mylan, the film was shot in Mirzapur and Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh.

Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai slum dweller, who goes on to win USD 20 million in a quiz show, was adjudged the best film.

It also fetched Danny Boyle the Best Director award, Simon Beaufoy best Adapted Screenplay and Anthony Dod Mantle the best Cinematography award. The film was also awarded for Best Editing.

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