Director Danny Boyle has described making his latest film Slumdog Millionaire as a "dream come true".

The film sees 18-year-old Jamal Malik, an orphan from the slums of Mumbai, one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

His life is suddenly turned upside down when he is arrested and accused of cheating on the show, forcing him to re-tell his remarkable life story and his obsessive search for a long-lost love.

Speaking at London's Leicester Square at the European premiere of the film and the Closing Night Gala of the Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival, Boyle described his latest offering as a "rags to riches under-dog story".

The Trainspotting director admitted shooting the film in Mumbai - "the most extraordinary city I've ever been to" - was an extreme but welcome challenge.

"The opportunity to make an urban film in the ultimate urban environment is unbelievable," he said.

Boyle admitted to he was a fan of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? but suggested it was only one of the devices used to tell the film's story.

"I think like everyone else when it came out it was fairly compelling, you couldn't stop watching it... some of the drama and then obviously the cheating and all that kind of stuff happening and we have bits of those kind of ingredients in the film," he said.

"But it's not a film about that... it's a much bigger story than that, it's one of the devices used in the film."

Boyle said instead he saw Slumdog Millionaire as "Dickens but in the present day in one of the emerging cities of the world".

Slumdog Millionaire is currently showing at the Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival and is due to be released in January.

31/10/2008 08:27:13