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.
Elated at the victory,Mylan thanked the eight-year- old girl,who could not smile due to her cleft-lip and was teased as ‘hothkatti’ (one with a cut lip) for letting her tell her story.
“Thank you Pinki. Thank you for letting me tell your incredible story,” said Mylan while accepting the Oscar.
Pinki then underwent a simple surgery with the help of social workers that almost changed her life.
Mylan also thanked the NGO Smile Train,which funded the surgery and Pinki’s Los Angeles trip to attend the Oscars. Mylan also thanked Dr Subodh K Singh,who performed the surgery.
Smile Pinki edged past “The Final Inch”,which was also shot in India and documents the struggle of polio workers as they travel from village to village to administer polio drops under the polio eradication programme of India,to win the award.