Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Slumdog makers apologise to charity

The makers of Slumdog Millionaire have said that there was no intention to link a real charity to a scene in the film in which a boy has his eyes gouged out.

The Hope Foundation, which works with street children in India, received numerous calls and emails about the scene, in which a minibus with "Hope Orphanage" painted on it collects youngsters from the Mumbai slums.

One of the children has his eyes put out later in the film by unscrupulous criminals so he can make more money begging.

The foundation issued a joint statement with Celador Films, which made Slumdog, saying there was "no connection whatsoever" between the real and fictitious charities.

Paul Smith, the chairman of Celador films, said there was no intention to imply a connection.

The Hope Foundation is an international organisation based in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) which cares for street children in India by providing residential homes, education and healthcare.

The incident comes just four days before Slumdog goes to the Oscars, where it has 10 nominations, including best picture and best director for Danny Boyle.

Boyle has previously defended the film against claims that child actors from the slums who starred in the film were not paid fairly for their work.

"The actors were paid very well. We have not released any figures - either what they were paid or what they will receive when they complete their education because it would make them vulnerable to certain elements, because they are quite large sums of money," he said earlier this month.

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