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Women Film Critics Circle Member Sparks SLUMDOG Brouhaha in Wall Street Journal

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Cultural imperialism comes to a theater near you? Women Film Critics Circle member Jan Lisa Huttner of Films For Two and has been instrumental in a campaign to protest denial of screen credit recognition for major awards this year to Loveleen Tandan, as female co-director of Slumdog Millionaire.

Tandan was an assistant director on Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding, and she is receiving support from the acclaimed Indian filmmaker as well, in this campaign to see that she is given equal recognition for Slumdog Millionaire. Tandan also worked on Nair's The Namesake, Vanity Fair and The New World, and on Sarah Gavron's Brick Lane.

Reminiscent of the deplorable exploitative history of African American musicians in this country, the contention is that Slumdog Millionaire could not have been made by British director Danny Boyle without the cultural collaboration and input of the Indian filmmaker. Huttner explains:

Dear Friends of Women Filmmakers,

The SLUMDOG brouhaha has reached today's Wall Street Journal, with a few quotes from/references to yours truly, especially this:

"After the 2009 Golden Globe nominations were announced in December, a Chicago film critic launched an online campaign to question the governing Hollywood Foreign Press Association about why Ms. Tandan had not been nominated for best director along with Mr. Boyle. "If she's co-director during the filmmaking and marketing process, why isn't she co-nominee when the awards are passed out?" says campaign organizer Jan Lisa Huttner."

"Ms. Huttner hasn't dropped her effort. She says her real mission (with Oscar nominations coming Jan. 22) is to spotlight how rare it is for female directors to be in the awards race. Only three women have been nominated for best director Golden Globes (Barbara Streisand won for "Yentl"), and three have been nominated in that category at the Oscars, with no winners."

"Ms. Tandan's link to Hollywood has been as a casting director. Director Mira Nair hired the New Delhi native to fill the sprawling cast of her 2000 film "Monsoon Wedding" and recommended her to Mr. Boyle. "She is hugely responsible for the foundation of 'Slumdog,' " says Ms. Nair. "Once you trust that it is authentic, you can go with the pop quality of it. She had the nose for it."

Link to the complete article:

Jan Lisa Huttner
Women Film Critics Circle
JUF News/Fund for Women Artists
& Managing Editor of FILMS FOR TWO

See also:

Women Film Critics Circle:

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

Prairie Miller

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