CAPTION: The real Saroo Brierley on whom Lion is based (Photo: Richard Malone / Courtesy of G. P. Putnam's Sons)
The much-awaited Entertainment One film – “Lion” is set to hit the box office in Toronto on December 9.
In Lion, five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple.
Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
Adapted from the memoir “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, LION is directed by Emmy Award-nominated Garth Davis (Top Of The Lake) from a screenplay by Luke Davies (Candy, Life).
LION stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as Saroo, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (Paddington, The Hours) as Sue, Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara (Carol, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as Lucy and David Wenham (Top of the Lake, 300) as John, with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Deepti Naval.
When See-Saw Film’s Emile Sherman and Iain Canning first heard the true story of Saroo Brierley’s journey to find his childhood home and birth mother, they immediately sensed that it could make an extraordinarily powerful feature film. A bidding war was soon underway for the film rights to Saroo’s story and book which See-Saw won based on the company’s track record for quality films and the producers’ commitment to making a film that was authentic and international in ambition.
On April 24, 2013, it was announced that Garth Davis would make his first feature film with Saroo Brierley’s biopic based on his memoir A Long Way Home for See-Saw Films and Sunstar Entertainment. Determined to honour the truth of the story, Garth travelled to India while developing the film where he spent time in Kolkata (Calcutta) and also in Saroo’s childhood home village.
Garth was there in the village when Saroo’s birth mother Kamla and adoptive mother Sue met for the very first time. Some of the filming of LION took place in the village and Saroo’s family were welcome visitors to set on several occasions.
The film made its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was runner-up for the People’s Choice Award. It has screened at a number of international festivals including the Zurich Film Festival and London Film Festival.