A leading U.S. women's campaigner has launched an online protest demanding SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE filmmaker Danny Boyle shares this year's (09) Best Director nomination with his female co-director.
Jan Lisa Huttner, of pressure group Audience Supporting Women Artists Now (ASWAN), began her campaign for the joint nomination after Boyle labelled co-director Loveleen Tandan's contribution to the Mumbai-based box office smash "indispensable". Yet Tandan's name does not appear on the Academy Awards ballot paper.
Huttner - who is also a film critic - claims the oversight is symptomatic of a wider gender divide in Hollywood. Yet she admits it is ultimately Boyle's decision to share the prestigious gong.
She says, "Women find it harder to be able to make films and have their films seen. That's why this is such an important issue."
Only one person may be named on the ballot, yet last year Joel and Ethan Coen chose to jointly accept the honour for their hit No Country For Old Men.
And Huttner pressured Boyle by saying of the brothers, "They waive the rules at their own discretion."
However Tandan, who rewrote the film's script in Hindi and filmed some scenes herself, insisted Boyle's nomination was fair.
She says, "My credit is not 'Directed by'. It is 'Co-Director (India)'. I am greatly honoured by the credit I have been accorded.
"It would be a great injustice if the credit I have should have the effect of diminishing Danny Boyle's magnificent achievement."