Shooting on Australian feature film Lion will commence in Kolkata, India, this week.
Starring Nicole Kidman (The Railway Man, Paddington) and Dev Patel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Slumdog Millionaire), Lion follows the story of Saroo Brierley, a five-year-old boy who, after taking a wrong train, gets lots in Northern India and can’t find his way home. Eventually ending up in an orphanage, he is adopted by a Tasmanian couple and goes on to enjoy a happy childhood growing up in Hobart. However, as a young adult he develops a passion to relocate his Indian family, and sets out to do so using the help of a new technology – Google Earth.
The true story is adapted from Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home and will be directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake). The screenplay is written by Luke Davies (Candy, Life) and is being produced by See-Saw Films in association with Sunstar Entertainment and Aquarius Films. Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder are producing with Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian and Daniel Levin executive producing.
In a statement released to the media, producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films said: “We are thrilled to be working with Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman on LION. They are both incredible actors who share our passion for this unique and epic story of the primal need to find home.
“We are also delighted to announce that some of India’s finest actors have joined the cast including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Deepti Naval.”
Kidman’s role does not require her to shoot in India, but she will join the cast and crew for the Australian shoot in April/May.
Transmission Films will distribute LION in Australia and New Zealand. The Weinstein Company acquired LION at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where they closed the deal for worldwide distribution excluding Australia and New Zealand. The film is being co-financed by Screen Australia and Fulcrum Media Finance.
Transmission Films’ Andrew Mackie said: “This is one of the most incredible, emotional true stories we’ve ever read. The caliber of talent See-Saw Films have assembled to realize Saroo Brierley’s epic journey promise an Australian film event. We couldn’t be happier to be collaborating with all involved in bringing it to Australian audiences, including our friends at See-Saw.”
Production services in India are being handled by India Take One Productions.