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'Slumdog' Director Buys New Homes For Kid Stars

May 28 2009, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

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Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has answered an S.O.S. from two of the Oscar winning film’s young stars by buying them new homes has learned.

Both Rubina Ali, 9, and Azharuddin Ismali, 10, were reduced to tears after bulldozers flattened their shanty-like homes in Mumbai, India, to make way for a railway station.

British film-maker Boyle flew-out to India amid claims that that he had abandoned the young stars despite the fact that a trust had been set-up for them.

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Boyle, 53, said: “I have seen their homes being knocked down and that upset me a great deal.

“They have never been far from my thoughts – it is only now that the trust has been able to put in place a workable plan.”

A flat has been purchased for Ismali who played young Salim, and a second home has been bought for Ali, who was Salim’s friend Latika in the movie.

Slumdog Millionaire - which cost only $14 million to make – has amassed $326 million in box office returns and scooped eight Oscars.

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Despite these huge takings, both Ali and Ismali still lived in poverty with their families when they returned to India. She was paid $710 for taking part in the film while he received $2414 – both kids receive $40 per month for books and food as part of the Jai Ho trust agreement and producers also secured places for the pair at local schools.

Despite widespread criticism that the studio should have given a lot more, a spokesperson for Fox Searchlight said they were “proud” of the treatment given to the pair.

“For 30 days work they were paid three times the annual salary,” he said.

Boyle and fellow producer Christian Colson donated a further $745,000 to a charity that aims to improve the living conditions of the street children of Mumbai, while Slumdog star Anil Kapoor – who played the game show host – donated his entire salary from the movie to help Mumbai's impoverished youth. (Photo: Fame Pictures)



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