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Film About 'Smile Train' Wins Oscar

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Smile Pinki, a film about Smile Train—which was co-founded by Islanders owner Charles B. Wang—won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short on Sunday night.

Wang is the co-founder and chairman of Smile Train—which is now in its 10th year—and is one of the driving forces behind the organization. Ever since he was first introduced to the miraculous and immediate results of life-changing cleft surgery, Wang has been a passionate, tireless and fervent supporter.

Smile Train, which was co-founded by Brian Mullaney, is the world's leading cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in 76 of the world's poorest countries. Its mission is to help the more than 4.7 million children in developing countries who are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Smile Train provides free cleft surgery to poor families and gives children not just a new smile—but a new life.

Smile Pinki is a heart-warming story about a poor, Indian village girl—Pinki—whose cleft lip made her a social outcast. The documentary traces Pinki’s journey from being ostracized to being treated like a normal girl after a social worker helped her undergo surgery.

Pinki is just one of nearly 500,000 children who have received free cleft surgery thanks to Smile Train. This simple 45-minute surgery is a modern-day medical miracle and can give a desperate child not only a new smile, but also a second chance at life.

The film Smile Pinki has done a fantastic job in bringing the story of one girl and her doctor—Smile Train surgeon Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh—to the big screen. Winning the Oscar further validates the great work that has been done by Smile Train and its volunteers, and the importance of moving forward to help as many children as possible.

 “As a filmmaker who focuses on social issue documentaries, it is rare that I get into a film knowing we’re likely to have a happy ending,” said Megan Mylan, the film’s director. “So, I was excited to tell the story of this beautiful hospital and a team of doctors and social workers treating their patients with such compassion and quality care and making a positive impact.”

Click here for more information about Smile Train.

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