Date: 23rd February 2009

Slumdog Millionaire wins best picture Oscar

Hit British film Slumdog Millionaire (2008) has won the top prize at the Academy Awards, winning eight Oscars including best director and best picture.

In a great night for Britain, Kate Winslet won the best actress Oscar for The Reader, finally clinching the award on her sixth nomination.

The big surprise of the night was Sean Penn, winning best actor for his role as gay rights activist Harvey Milk (2008).

But the night belonged to Slumdog Millionaire, the rags-to-riches tale that has enchanted audiences around the world.

Director Danny Boyle, 52, bounced up and down in delight as he received his award, telling the audience: "I swore to my children if this miracle ever happened I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger."

The film, set in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay), won eight awards in total, including gongs for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, film editing, best original score and best song.

"There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me, it's the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here," joked British screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, previously best known for writing The Full Monty.

Source: Press Release