Australian film Lion kicks off filming in Kolkata

Australian feature film Lion kicks off filming in Kolkata, India this week with the local shoot to take place in April and May.

Starring actress Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, best known for Slumdog Millionaire, the film is an adaption of the true story ‘A Long Way Home’ by Saroo Brierly and will be directed by Garth Davis.

It tells the story of five-year-old Saroo who finds himself alone and travelling on the wrong train away from his home in northern India. He winds up thousands of kms away in Kolkata where he survives living on the streets. He eventually ends up in an orphanage and is adopted by an Australia couple from Hobart.

Later in life, Saroo embarks on a journey to find his lost family with the help of technology Google Earth.

Emile Sherman, an Australian producer who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, is a producer on the project alongside Iain Canning and Angie Fielder with Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian and Daniel Levin executive producing.

Sherman and 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 is not filming in India but will join the film for the Australian shoot in April and May. Patel will also not film in Kolkata.

Filming begins in Kolkata in West Bengal province and the production will move to Indore in Madhya Pradesh province in February.

Transmission Films will distribute Lion in Australia and New Zealand. It 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.”


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