Oscar-nominated film 'Kavi' has Dallas link

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by GARY COGILL / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on March 3, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 4 at 12:31 AM

Sunday night's Oscar broadcast will be all about the glitz, the stars and the big-budget films, but you also might hear the name of a smaller film with a Texas connection.

"Kavi" is a 19-minute film that's also  nominated for an Academy Award. It's a serious-minded story of a boy in India who dreams of going to school, but is forced to work instead.

You might call it "Slumdog Millionaire" without the happy ending.

"Kavi" is directed by Gregg Helvey, and he is linked to the Lone Star State.

"I married into Texas," he said. "My wife is from Dallas, she's from Highland Park. We both went to the University of Virginia, didn't know each other there, but mutual friends told us to get in touch with each other because we were both at USC in graduate school."

Margaux Helvey is a 1999 Highland Park graduate, and the Oscar-nominated couple have been married for two years while living in Southern California. Margaux served as associate producer on "Kavi."

"It's been a really wild ride," she said. "Gregg started writing the script when we first met, so all the way through our dating, our engagement, and our first two years of marriage, 'Kavi' has been with us."

On Sunday night, more than enough attention will be paid to Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges, and the biggest money-maker of all time, "Avatar."

But also pay attention if the envelope is opened and you hear the name "Kavi." You'll likely hear Texas cheers all the way from Hollywood.

"I think my job is to lean over and give a big hug and kiss," Margaux Helvey said. "I won't be up on stage, but I'll probably be crying."

E-mail gcogill@wfaa.com

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