True its raining Oscars for India but somewhere lost in the hype of Slumdog Millionaire is the victory of the eight-year-old cleft lip girl Pinki. And more so ever the achievement of The Final Inch,another documentary shot in India that was nominated for the Best Documentary (Short) and that gave Smiling Pinki a run for the title. Just like Boyles Slumdog,Smile Pinki too has been shot completely in India by the American filmmaker Meg Mylan and The Final Inch also shot in India documents the struggle of polio workers who travel to villages to administer polio drops.
While the media cradles Slumdog the two country cousins of the film take the corner seat. Edging past The Final Inch,Smile Pinki became the first Oscar winning documentary to be shot in India. The documentary features,eight – year – old Pinki Sonkar who is a resident of Rampur Dhavaia village in Uttar Pradesh. Directed by American filmmaker Megan Mylan,the 40-minute documentary captures her life from ostracism to public acceptance,after she underwent a surgery to cure her birth defect of an upper cleft lip .
Documentaries definitely are secondary when it comes to films in India. Perhaps this is one of the reason it did not grab the limelight. But both the films have made us proud for sure. The joy definitely has doubled, says Chadrashekhar Joshi,Film Research Officer,FTII. Documentary maker Sameer Shipurkar agrees,It is true that Slumdog is all there but Smile Pinki has made us proud. Both are equally important to us. Its just that the people here are Bollywood lovers more than documentaries.
The Final Inch showcases efforts by the polio workers to eradicate the disease in India and globally. It vied for the Academy honours in Best Documentary (Short) category along with The Conscience of Nhem En and The Witness- From the Balcony of Room 306.