The producer and the director of Slumdog Millionaire , which currently appears to have the inside track in the Oscar race, have responded to growing protests in India of the film -- and particularly of the title. In an interview with Reuters, director Danny Boyle said that such protests were "part of the fabric of life in India ... For us, 'slumdog' was always a very affectionate term because ... it was a hybrid, a mixture of underdog and rooting for the underdog, and obviously he comes from the slums." Producer Christian Colson also said that claims by parents of one of the slum kids who appeared in the film that they received virtually nothing for their work were "inaccurate." In a separate interview with Reuters, Colson said, "Immediately after we cast the kids, we put in place a plan of action for their future welfare, over and above the money we paid them; we did that in consultation with their parents." He said the plan included enrolling the kids in school for the first time in their lives and setting up a fund to pay for their education, medical emergencies and basic living. Boyle added "What you've got to do is somehow try and get a plan that isn't about the absolute immediate, it's about the long-term benefit for the kids. If we can give them something back, that will benefit them throughout their lives, that's what you want to achieve."

29/01/2009