Lion pips Oscars-favourite La La Land to win L.A. Italia Fest's Best Picture accolade... so could it go on to do the same at the Academy Awards?
Its clear sweep of successful Best Picture gongs means all signs point to La La Land for next week's top film accolade at the Academy Awards.
But Lion might be hot on the heels of the all-singing, all-dancing flick after scooping the win at this weekend's L.A. Italia Fest.
The Garth Davis drama, about an adopted Indian boy in Calcutta, defied the odds to prove that it's still in with a shot at next week's Oscars.
Awards season shocker: Lion (pictured with actors, from left, David Wenham, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman) has collected the L.A. Italia Fest award for Best Picture, over Oscars-favourite La La Land
Producer Harvey Weinstein and screenwriter Luke Davies were there to collect the award at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, on Sunday.
Hinting at high hopes that the film will do the same next week, movie mogul Harvey told MailOnline, recently: 'I think the Lion time has come, we didn’t predict it when made it and we didn’t know that stuff like this would happen but it did.
'In a way it becomes a source of hope, I think, to me more than anything else for so many people and I’m proud of it for that reason.'
Disbelief: La La Land (pictured with stars, from left, Emma Stone, John Legend and Ryan Gosling) has had a relatively clean sweep at awards season, so far
All-singing, all-dancing: The film and its stars have already collected Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTAs
Meanwhile at the ceremony, Sunny Pawar, the eight-year-old star of the film, was presented with the Child Performer of the Year Award.
He plays young Saroo Brierley, while British actor Dev Patel portrays his older self and collected the prestiged Best Supporting Actor gong for his role, at the BAFTAs just last week.
So far this year, Lion has been beaten by La La Land at the Critics' Choice Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs in the Best Picture category.
But film insiders are hopeful the film could go the distance and potentially even beat the critics' early favourite, following their great success at the BAFTAs, last Sunday.
Head-to-head: La La Land (left) faces off with Lion (right) in just six days' time
A source told MailOnline: 'After Dev’s [BAFTA] win there was a lot of backstage and after party gossip saying that perhaps LION could pull off a big shock at the Oscars.
'La La Land has long been the favourite to sweep up but the feeling is that Lion has a lot of momentum right now and that’s certainly confirmed by Dev’s win at BAFTA.
'It's doing incredibly well at the box office all around the world and the talk from inside the industry is how this year’s best picture Ocar could be a close one if Lion continues to gain such strong momentum.'
Furthermore, adding to the underdog theory, the Writers Guild of America awards surprised all when Moonlight and Arrival took best original screenplay and best adapted screenplay, respectively.
This weekend, La La Land - a story about two Hollywood hopefuls - will be up for the record number of Oscar nominations.
At the ceremony: Mel Gibson (centre, left) and Sylvester Stallone (centre, right) also accepted awards at the LA-Italia Film (pictured, with founder Pascal Vicedomini, and actors/directors Mel Gibson (L) and Sylvester Stallone
Going, going gong: Mel accepted Best Director and Stallone took the Jack Valenti lifetime achievement award
It meets the number once achieved by Titanic, which won 10 out of 13 during the 1998 ceremony.
And while both of La La Land's lead actors, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, are recognised in the Best Actor categories, Dev could still take one of Lion's five prizes, for Best Supporting Actor.
Dev has come a long way since his TV debut in British teen drama Skins, earning international acclaim for his international breakthrough role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
He has subsequently starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Last Airbender and Chappie.
Hopeful: British actor Dev Patel (right) is hopeful for one of the five Oscar nominations this weekend, in the Best Supporting Actor category for Lion (here with Rooney Mara)
The underdog: Actor Dev took the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor last weekend, hinting that the underdogs could take it, at this weekend's Oscars
He's come a long way: Dev found fame on E4 teen drama Skins, in 2007
From Slumdog to underdog: Since then, he's achieved acclaimed roles in such films as Slumdog Millionaire
Of the recognition, he told People: 'The fact that our little movie, that we shot in the middle of nowhere, has made it to the Oscar stage is reason enough for us to be really happy. This has been the most beautiful journey...
'It’s up to the film gods and we are just really enjoying this time. But whenever I think it’s just a week away, my heart rate rises a little bit.'
Former awards show underdog Dev could be set for a big win since his odds have been slashed by bookies in the run-up to the Oscars.
Pre BAFTA Dev was 20/1 to win the Oscar, but he is now 6/1, according to William Hill.
Precious: At the L.A. Italia Fest awards, eight-year-old Sunny Pawar was also awarded for his role in Lion
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4242488/Lion-wins-L-Italia-Fest-s-Best-Picture-La-La-Land.html#ixzz4ZIKfOVus
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