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.
In LION, five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost on a train traveling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehowhe survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, Saroo (Dev Patel) suppresseshis past, his emotional need for reunification and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother.
But a chance meeting with some fellow Indians reawakens his buried yearning. Armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known asGoogle Earth, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
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), Academy Award® winner NicoleKidman (Paddington, The Hours), Academy Award® nominee Rooney Mara (Carol, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and David Wenham (Top of the Lake, 300), with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Deepti Naval, and introducing Sunny Pawar.
LION was developed and produced by London and Sydney-based See-Saw Films (The King’s Speech,Shame, Top Of The Lake) in association with Aquarius Films and Sunstar Entertainment. Producers areEmile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder with Executive Producers Bob Weinstein, HarveyWeinstein, David C. Glasser, Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian and Daniel Levin.
The Weinstein Company acquired LION at script stage at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where they closed the deal for worldwide distribution excluding Australia and New Zealand. Transmission Films is the Australian and New Zealand distributor. The film was co-financed by Screen Australia and Fulcrum Media Finance.
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.
“It’s one of those stories where it is virtually impossible not to move people when you talk to them about it. It’s an incredible story that gives everyone tingles up their spine. It taps into something primal in us as human beings – the need to find home and the need to know who you are,” Producer Emile Sherman says.
Producer Iain Canning says: “It is an incredible true story. As soon as we heard it we felt that we had to go after it. Emile and I read an early manuscript of Saroo’s memoir and it has, without question,one of the most incredible endings in Saroo finally finding home.”