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The presence of Vikas Swarup provided the final dusting of occasion to the exclusive South African premiere of Slumdog Millionaire at Cinema Nouveau at Cedar Square.

Pretoria-based, Swarup is the author of the novel Q&A, on which the wildly successful film Slumdog Millionaire is based, and is India's Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa.

On Tuesday, 17 February, the venue was packed with glamorous guests and celebs sipping cocktails, but the usual mingling seemed to be cut short as the eager crowd stampeded into the cinema, stopping only for popcorn. Everyone was anxious to see the movie hotly tipped for success at the Oscars and which has already won numerous industry awards - including seven Baftas and four Golden Globes.

A British film, directed by Danny Boyle (of Trainspotting fame), Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of young Jamal Malik, a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and who is arrested on suspicion of cheating. It is co-directed by Loveleen Tandan and written by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty).

Dazzling camera work and the wonderful soundtrack combine to provide intense, beautiful images of the energy of the Mumbai slums, as flashbacks of Jamil's life are revealed.

This film provides all the heart-pounding satisfaction one can hope for.

Diarise Friday, 06 March when Slumdog Millionaire opens in South African cinemas; if you aren't the first to watch it, those who have will drive you crazy raving about it.

Slumdog Millionaire has thus far notched up the following awards:
* Winner of 4 Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture
* Winner: Directors Guild - Danny Boyle
* Winner: Screen Actors Guild - Cast in a Motion Picture
* Winner: Producer Guild - Christian Colson