Scrolling Headlines:

Cale Makar selected to play for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships -

December 15, 2017

UMass men’s basketball looks to remain undefeated at home when Georgia comes to town -

December 15, 2017

Editorial: Our shift to a primarily digital world -

December 13, 2017

Makar, Ferraro off to Ontario to compete for Team Canada’s World Junior hockey team -

December 12, 2017

Lecture attempts to answer whether treatment of depression has resulted in over-prescription of SSRIs -

December 12, 2017

Palestinian students on campus react to President Trump’s recent declaration -

December 12, 2017

Smith College hosts social media panel addressing impact of social media on government policies -

December 12, 2017

GOP Tax Plan will trouble working grad students -

December 12, 2017

Mario Ferraro making his mark with UMass -

December 12, 2017

Minutewomen look to keep momentum going against UMass Lowell -

December 12, 2017

Ames: UMass hockey’s turnaround is real, and it’s happening now -

December 12, 2017

When your favorite comedian is accused of sexual assault -

December 12, 2017

A snapshot of my college experience -

December 12, 2017

Homelessness is an issue that’s close to home -

December 12, 2017

Allowing oil drilling in Alaska sets a dangerous precedent -

December 12, 2017

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is a television triumph -

December 12, 2017

Some of my favorite everyday brands -

December 12, 2017

Berkeley professor researches high-poverty high school -

December 11, 2017

Rosenberg steps down as Senate President during husband’s controversy -

December 11, 2017

Students aim to bring smiles to kids’ faces at Baystate Children’s Hospital -

December 11, 2017

Kids on the red carpet: a spotlight on the sensational Sunny Pawar

(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

As we digest this year’s Oscar performances, commercials and political commentary, it becomes increasingly more apparent how effective the event was between both Hollywood and your average Joe.

From candy raining down in little parachuted bundles, to “Gary from Chicago” (a tourist, Gary Alan Coe, who came in halfway through the show) taking selfies with Denzel Washington, to “Suicide Squad” winning best makeup, to the infamous Best Picture blunder, the Oscars were an emotional roller coaster.

Conversation continues to swirl about “Moonlight’s” lost moment of celebration in the miscommunication of the best picture award. Discussions are still being had about Kimmel’s possible political agenda, yet it seems people have failed to give Sunny Pawar, the lead actor of the Oscar nominated film “Lion,” requisite attention.

“Lion” is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley’s traumatic experience of falling asleep on a train as young boy and getting separated from his family for the rest of his childhood. Despite living a happy life with his adopted parents in Australia, as an adult Brierley uses Google Maps, determination and a strong belief in fate to carry him home to his birth family.

What’s most impressive about Pawar, who plays young Saroo, is that he was chosen out of about 2,000 Indian kids who auditioned for the role. And despite the fact that he spoke English in the movie, his primary language is Indian. He had to memorize any English lines phonetically with the help of a translator.

This isn’t without mentioning that Pawar is only eight-year-old child and is completely inexperienced in the acting world. Overcoming all these obstacles can silence any critic who suspects that children lack the emotional capacity to act in culturally significant films.

In fact, Pawar’s exemplary acting in “Lion” landed him a role in the upcoming film “Love Sonia,” with Demi Moore, about a young girl’s emotional journey in the sex trafficking industry.

In addition to his spectacular performance abilities, his cute-as-a-button demeanor lends an unforgettably charming presence.

It is so cute that Chrissy Teigen, a model and famous Twitter personality, couldn’t help but fangirl a little when she asked him for a hug on the red carpet. Even more admirable is Pawar’s brotherly relationship with costar Dev Patel, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in his role as adult Saroo.

It’s fair to say the new Hollywood sensation Pawar has become 2017’s Jacob Tremblay equivalent. The point being: child acting is redefining itself in an industry dominated mostly by seasoned adults.

With that, I can’t wait to see more of Pawar’s excellence on film.

Cynthia Ntinunu can be reached at cntinunu@umass.edu.

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