Screening of Smile Pinki Leaves LA Smiling

March 21, 2018 | Smile Train

In honor of the 10 anniversary of Smile Pinki winning the Academy Award® for Best Short Subject Documentary, the Los Angeles chapter of Smile Train’s Young Leadership Circle hosted a screening of the film at Estrella in West Hollywood.

Smile Train

Smile Train’s Manager of Community Fundraising Ikiah McGowan said that both first time viewers and longtime fans were enamored by six-year-old Pinki Sonkar’s remarkable journey to receive cleft surgery. Ikiah commented, “One attendee told me that the film and Pinki’s story had changed her life. I completely understood what she was saying — it’s easy to become deeply affected by Pinki and her journey.”

Young Leadership Circle

When the film finished, guests were surprised by a special video message from Pinki Sonkar and Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, the surgeon who performed her Smile Train sponsored surgery, with updates on how they are doing today. Ikiah shared, “Pinki’s update was a great reminder of the long-lasting and far-reaching benefits of cleft surgery. It left us with a sense of fulfillment and tremendous pride to be a small part of Smile Train’s efforts.”

Afterwards, at the reception, guests toasted to Pinki’s smile and all of the hope that radiates through it.

Beverly Hills MD

The evening’s events were made possible by support from Smile Train corporate partner Beverly Hills MD. Co-founders Dr. John Layke and Dr. Payman Danielpour were honored by Smile Train staff with SmileMaker Awards, in recognition of the 1,000 free cleft surgeries that Beverly Hills MD has funded thus far through their partnership with Smile Train.


Host your own Smile Pinki screening and be entered for a chance to visit Smile Train partners in India.