Slumdog Millionaire has swept the Academy Awards, winning eight Oscars including the coveted best picture and best director.
The night of triumph sealed the Mumbai-set British film’s unlikely dominance of Hollywood’s glittering award season.
The Oscar haul equals that of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, which scooped eight Oscars in 1983, though falls short of The English Patient, Anthony Minghella's Second World War romance, which won nine Academy Awards in 1997.
Slumdog, a rags-to-riches fairy tale about an orphan who appears on India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, had already accrued a wealth of awards in the build-up to the Oscars, including seven Baftas and four Golden Globes, and was favourite in most of the 10 categories in which it was nominated, including best picture.
It beat fellow nominees The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and The Reader to win the award, the last of the night, which was announced by Steven Spielberg.
Accepting the best picture statuette, Christian Colson, the film’s British producer, said the production was “a collaboration between hundreds of people”.
He made reference to the fact the low-budget film almost failed to get released.
"Together we've been on an extraordinary journey,” he said, surrounded by members of the cast and crew. “When we started out, we had no stars, we had no power or muscle.
"We didn't have enough money, really, to do what we wanted to do. But what we had was a script that inspired mad love in everyone who read it.
"We had a genius for a director, we had a cast and a crew who were unwavering in their commitment and whose talents are up on the screen for you to see."
“Most of all we had passion and belief. And our film shows that if you have those two things, anything is possible.”
Earlier Danny Boyle picked up the coveted best director Oscar for Slumdog, which has made around $150 million worldwide since its November release.
The film also won Oscars for best adapted screenplay, best original score and song, best sound mixing, film editing and cinematography.
Only seven other films in the 81-year-history of the Oscars have won eight or more awards.
Slumdog’s haul overtook that of Shakespeare in Love, which won seven statuettes in 1999 and was the last British film to dominate the Oscars.