Hollywood's most prestigious award ceremony proved to be quite an international affair Sunday night.
The movie "Slumdog Millionaire," a rags-to-riches tale filmed in India, won best picture at the 81st annual Academy Awards (in Los Angeles, California). All told, the film won top honors in eight categories, and the recipients included British and Indian citizens.
And British actress Kate Winslet won for her leading role in the film "The Reader."
Late Australian actor Heath Ledger won best supporting actor for his role as the Joker in (the Batman film) "The Dark Knight." And the award ceremony was hosted by another Australian actor, Hugh Jackman.
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz was named best supporting actress for her role in the film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
And American actor Sean Penn won for his portrayal of gay politician Harvey Milk in the film "Milk."
The two winning documentaries followed a French performance artist and an Indian girl with a cleft lip.
And the Japanese film "Departures" won for best foreign language film.
It bested movies from Israel, Germany, France and Austria.
The documentary short called "Smile Pinki," about a girl in rural India
who is an outcast because of her cleft lip, won in its category. And
"Man on Wire," which follows French performance artist Philippe Petit's
walk across a high wire strung between New York's Twin Towers, won best
"Slumdog Millionaire" also won top honors for directing, adapted
screenplay writing, score, best song for "Jai Ho," film editing, sound
mixing, and cinematography. Altogether, the movie won in eight of the
10 categories in which it was nominated.