Director Roman Polanski has high hopes for his Oliver Twist lead BARNEY CLARK - he wants him to win an Academy Award.

The lucky 12-year-old was thrilled to land the role alongside Oscar winner SIR Ben Kingsley, and was surprised to learn he is expected to win the prestigious award as well.

He says, "Roman showed me a gold statuette and asked me if I knew what it was. I said I thought it was an Oscar. Roman said that he would like me to win one."

And the youngster hopes his role in the $63 million (GBP35 million) adaptation of CHARLES DICKENS' classic tale will kickstart his fledgling career.

He adds, "I have been to quite a few auditions for other parts recently - we'll see what happens."