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LAist at the Santa Barbara Film Festival - Take 2

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One of the best things about attending a festival isn't the films you get to see, but the industry panels the organizers assemble to give the public a glimpse into the inner workings of show business. On Saturday in Santa Barbara I was lucky enough to attend two dynamite panels. The first featured producers from five of 2008's most lauded films (The Dark Knight, Wall-E, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and Rachel Getting Married. Moderated by Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times, it was a rollicking peek into a largely hidden world.

First out of the gate was Englishman Christian Colson, who was asked to address numerous, recent reports that the production had paid its child actors a relative pittance for their (amazing) performances in Slumdog Millionaire. Colson's response -- probably closely vetted by his legal team and publicist -- was that the children had not only been paid for their thirty days of acting, but had also been sent to school for the first time in their lives and had been included in a trust that would pay them another sum of money when they came of age.