As a British filmmaker claimed the Oscar for best documentary at a swanky Hollywood theater, a group of scrawny children celebrated in a dank and dingy room in Calcutta's notorious red light district.
"We are so happy our Auntie Zana has won the award," said Puja, 14, as film director Zana Briski received the Academy Award for "Born Into Brothels," a portrayal of life on the streets for the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's teeming Sonagachi district.
The film has already been screened at 30 festivals around the world, bagging several awards for Briski and her American co-director, Ross Kauffman.
The eight children on whom "Born Into Brothels" is based said they had been transformed through their participation in the film, which included learning how to shoot still photographs.
"My life has changed ever since we met Auntie Zana. Now I go to school and also learn computers," said Puja, one of the children featured in the documentary. Puja, like most children in the brothel district, uses only one name.
On Monday, soon after the Oscar was announced, the children strutted through a maze of narrow lanes with their simple point-and-shoot cameras as a horde of journalists followed them around.