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szdaily -> Yes Teens
Sunny Pawar: From Mumbai slums to Oscars arena
    2017-March-8  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Although most of the world will mainly remember this year’s Oscar ceremony for the disastrous announcement of the wrong winner for best picture, for many others a highlight was a young man who took to the red carpet for the first time.

    Sunny Pawar was the co-star in “Lion,” a true story of a little boy who goes missing in India.

    The 7-year-old was selected from 2,000 children across schools in India to play the role of the young Saroo Brierley.

    A class-three student, Pawar, of the Air India Model School, has always been good in studies. Pawar and his younger brother and sister, live with parents Dilip Pawar, a former government office sweeper, and homemaker mother Vasu in a slum in Kalina in the western suburbs, near the airport.

    Despite his humble background, Pawar zoomed through auditioning rounds in Mumbai and Pune to land a slum role in the blockbuster Hollywood biographical movie “Lion,” sources close to his family and the production house said.

    Pawar was casted in the role of a young Saroo Brierley, who was stranded in a train which carried him hundreds of kilometers away from home to busy Kolkata. There, he ekes out an existence on the footpaths, before a young Australian couple adopts him. The elder version of Saroo was played by Dev Patel in the movie.

    Pawar could barely speak English, but his bubbly, charismatic presence covered his communication shortcomings, apart from the cooperation of the entire film crew.

    “Film director Garth Davis had to put in a lot of efforts with Sunny during the shooting in India and Australia. For instance, he used sign language to make Sunny understand the dialogues, enact the sad or emotional scenes,” said the source.

    The first half of the movie was mostly hogged by little Pawar. The dialogues were delivered in Hindi with ease and finesse.

    Pawar has become the most popular child star of the awards season. Close on the success of “Lion,” “Love Sonia” featuring Pawar and another Mumbai girl Frieda Pinto is ready for release later this year.

    Pawar says that his favorite Bollywood movie is “Krrish” and that Hrithik Roshan is his favorite actor.

    The movie “Lion” is directed by Davis and written by Luke Davies. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman. It had received six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including best picture, best supporting actor (Patel), best supporting actress (Kidman) and best adapted screenplay.

    Exactly 10 years ago, some slum children from Mumbai had grabbed global attention with Danny Boyles’ “Slumdog Millionaire.” It also starred a much-younger Dev Patel in a key role. The main child actors in that multi-Oscar winning film — Rubina Ali, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar — are grown-up teenagers leading their normal lives in Mumbai, away from the arc lights.

    (SD-Agencies)

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