Boy from Documentary Born Into Brothels Now Studying Film at Tisch

1A tale as heartbreaking as any, the 2004 Oscar-winning documentary Born into Brothels shed light on the difficulties faced by female sex workers and their children in poverty-stricken Calcutta. In order to encourage a passion for art and learning in the children, the filmmakers armed the kids with cameras so that they could capture their lives on film. At the end of the documentary, one of the boys, Avijit Halder, was invited to participate in a photo contest in Amsterdam. It turns out that Avijit, now 20, has emerged from his troubled family life to attend Tisch for film studies. A BBC article reports that the boy, whose mother died when he was in his teens and whose father was a drug addict, has overcome the harsh struggles of his childhood and built a new life for himself at NYU. Pretty powerful stuff.

(Image via) (H/t Wesley Chen)

Update: Apparently we scooped the BBC back in ’08. And apparently Sam scooped me.


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  1. Andy Heriaud says

    Avi! Perhaps the strangest moment in my school career was sitting down in class and realizing the person next to me was the little boy from a documentary I had only watched a year before.

  2. Lisa van der Sluis says

    I just saw “Born into Brothels” last night (Feb-4-12) for the first time. I’ so very pleased to hear that Avijit is doing well! That was an amazing film. I was so emotionally involved with the children, their families, and the wonderful woman who was trying to help them. I am the mother of two sons and I can imagine that Avijit’s mother would be SO very proud of her son now, he is certainly fulfilling some of what I am sure were her dreams for his future. I will be looking forward to his work… in film or art, or whatever his work becomes!

  3. Ellen Molina says

    I just finish watching the show, I am happy to hear that Avijit is doing great. And as far as the others. It says that 3 of them are at school. I’m curious how are they now. I think that lady who was the photographer is awesome and brave.