I have worked on and feel drawn to such issues. This was a chance to show there is no reason to live with cleft as it is easily curable.
What were the difficulties you faced?
The language barrier between Pinki’s family and me was a challenge. Nandini Rajwadi, a talented Indian filmmaker, helped me a lot. The experience of shooting eclipsed all difficulties.
Your last documentary, Lost Boys of Sudan, was an untouched subject too. How do you keep uniqueness intact in your films?
I try to make films with an observational style where the camera is close to the subject. There are no interviews and no narrative.
Do you think Smile Pinki’s success at the Oscar was eclipsed by Slumdog Millionaire?
I don’t think so. In fact, there was a sense of community. The kids from Slumdog made great friends with Pinki.
This Oscar has shown a growing trend of foreign filmmakers basing their films on India.