The best headline, by far, belongs to Calcutta’s Telegraph newspaper. For their report about Krishna Bala Shenoi, the 19-year-old Bangalore student who received a scanned handwritten letter of thanks from Steven Spielberg on Tuesday, the headline reads: “Close Encounter of Written Kind.”
This all started last Sunday, when Roger Ebert blogged about the 70-second animated tribute to Spielberg’s work made by Shenoi, one of the journalist’s “far-flung correspondents.” As the Ebert item made its way through social media, make-up artist Lois Burwell (Lincoln) saw it and forwarded it on personally to Spielberg’s attention. The filmmaker’s response came in overnight Tuesday to Shenoi in the form of an email attachment, with FedEx hard copy to follow.
Coverage at the recipient’s end of this sweetest of Hollywood responses has also included articles in the Times of India, the Deccan Herald and New Indian Express. The news is also (understandably) emblazoned across the front page of the website for Shenoi’s school, the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. The incredibly slick animated tribute took Shenoi four months to make and once you watch it, it’s easy to understand why Spielberg was so impressed.