Interview with Film Maker Megan Mylan:
Watch Trailer Here: www.documentary.org/content/video/2039
Smile Pinki (2008) is a 39 minute Academy Award winning documentary directed by Megan Mylan. The film shows the captivating story of a desperately poor girl in rural India whose life is transformed when she receives free surgery to correct her cleft lip. The documentary was made in Hindi and Bhojpuri, and won the 81st Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Pinki is a 5 year old girl who is living with a severe cleft lip in one of the poorest areas of India. Not allowed to attend school and ostracized because of her deformity, Pinki lives a life of quiet desperation as she waits and wonders if she will ever receive the cleft surgery. Her parents could never afford the surgery that she desperately needs. By chance, Pinki's parents meet a social worker one day who is traveling village to village, gathering patients for a hospital that provides free cleft lip surgery to thousands of poor children each year through the The Smile Train program.
The film sheds light on the global problem of cleft lip and cleft palate. According to Smile Train, more than 4.7 million children in developing countries suffer with unrepaired clefts. Each child could be saved, just like Pinki, with a simple surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250.
Over the past 10 years, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise never have received it. The organization is the world’s leading cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in 76 of the world’s poorest countries.
Monday, February 23, 2009