The movie, which sees five-year-old boy Saroo (played by Sunny Pawar) embark on a journey from the streets of India, to loving Australian parents, and back, ties into the wider debate around immigration that has emerged ever since President Trump imposed a travel ban on travellers from seven Middle Eastern countries.
Pawar, was one of around 2,000 Indian kids who reportedly applied for the role. He was denied a Visa to enter the United States in November 2016 to attend the premiere of his breakout role. Pressure from distributor the Weinstein Company saw him admitted – but the difficulty the child, who was put forward for Best Actor by the company, had in in entering the country has been compounded in an effective, full page ad published in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
The ad reads: “It took an extraordinary effort to get eight-year-old actor Sunny Pawar a visa so that he could come to America for the very first time.
“Next year, that might not be an option.”
Underlined is the fact that the highly-plaudited movie may not have seen the light of day if the travel ban was in place during the production.
The image was shared on Twitter by the following user.
— Patty Shenker (@Pattyshenker) February 9, 2017
The movie is in the running for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role (Dev Patel), Actress in a Supporting Role (Nicole Kidman), Cinematography, Original Score, and Adapted Screenplay.
Earlier this month, The Drum deconstructed the posters of all the Best Picture nominated movies, see which work took the top spot here.