by VR Sreeraman on  October 3, 2009 at 6:21 PM Lifestyle News
 Oscar-Winning 'Smile Pinki' All Set to be Screened Across India
Oscar-winning documentary 'Smile Pinki' that gives the message about the cleft surgery in India would be screened across the country.

The director, child actors and doctor who treats cleft is on a five city tour and would now be heading to Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and finally to movie star Pinki Sonkar's native city, Varanasi, for the screening of the movie.

Pinki, believed to be about six years old, is the star of the short documentary, which won an Academy Award for telling her story.

The 39-minute poignant film, by US-based filmmaker Megan Mylan, recounts how the girl, born into a poor family and with a cleft lip, is taken by a social worker to a hospital that provides free surgery to fix the deformity for thousands of children each year.

Pinki was once an outcast in her village where deformities are not understood, but she was accepted into the community after the surgery.

Mylan said that a storyline along with a message definitely makes an impact on the audience.

"I think, if Indian audience gives Indian documentaries a chance, they'll be surprised how entertaining they are," Mylan said.

Subodh Kumar Singh, doctor who treated Pinki's cleft, said that the number of cleft patients coming for surgeries have already increased after the movie won Oscars. But it's screening would further help in creating awareness.

"I expect that the audience will understand the cause for which this film was made and the cause of the cleft children. And they will come forward to help these children and spread awareness and bring more such patients to hospital," said Singh.

Singh, who treated Pinki for free, said he has performed 13,000 corrective surgeries at his hospital in Varanasi since 2005 with the help of the US-based charity Smile Train, which aids cleft lip surgery.

There are 165 Smile Train hospitals all across India that provides free surgeries to cleft patients.

The non-governmental organization with 250 surgeons performs about 4000 surgeries every month.

Source: ANI

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