Lion is a 2016 biographical film directed by Garth Davis - in his feature debut - and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman.
The film tells the true story of a five year old Indian boy, Saroo, who gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. He 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.
The film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2016, was given a limited release on 25 November 2016, before opening generally on 6 January 2017. It was released in Australia on 19 January 2017 and in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2017.
received very positive reviews, and received six Oscar nominations at
the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
It also received five nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards,
winning two for Best Supporting Actor (Patel) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film is based on Saroo Brierley's memoir 'A Long Way Home'. While writing the screenplay, Screenwriter Luke Davies acknowledged the challenges of adapting a book that is primarily about an online search.
He said: "It was finding the right balance of the big cinema 'no-no', which is that screens on screens is not good. Yet we felt very strongly that our situation was quite different from the usual procedural crime drama TV model, where there are a whole bunch of actors that are crammed with exposition-heavy dialogue pointing at computer screens. We felt that we were a million miles away from that. The relationship with the technology was instigated by a purely and deeply emotional drive and desire to make it to the end of the myth – to find wholeness with the reunification with the lost mother and to find out who you are."
Principal photography on the film began in January 2015 in Kolkata, India. In mid-April, filming moved to Australia, in Melbourne, and then to to several locations in Tasmania, including Hobart. Kidman filmed all her scenes in Australia.
Lion had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2016, and served as the opening night film at the Zurich Film Festival on 22 September.
It also screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival on 7 and 8 October, and at theLondon Film Festival on 12 October.
Lion was first given a limited release on 25 November 2016, by the Weinstein Company, before opening generally in the US on 6 January 2017. It was released in Australia on 19 January 2017 and in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2017.
• Sunny Pawar as younger Saroo Brierley
• Dev Patel as older Saroo Brierley
• Rooney Mara as Lucy, Saroo's girlfriend
• Nicole Kidman as Sue Brierley, Saroo's adoptive mother
• David Wenham as John Brierley, Saroo's adoptive father
• Abhishek Bharate as Guddu Khan, Saroo's biological brother
• Divian Ladwa as Mantosh Brierley, Saroo's adoptive brother
o Keshav Jadhav as Young Mantosh
• Priyanka Bose as Kamla Munshi, Saroo's biological mother
• Deepti Naval as Saroj Sood, founder of the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA)
• Tannishtha Chatterjee as Noor
• Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Rama
• Benjamin Rigby as Waiter
• Riddhi Sen as Café Man
• Kaushik Sen as Police Officer
• Rita Boy as Amita, Saroo's friend at the orphanage.
• Pallavi Sharda as Prama, Saroo's friend.
• Sachin Joab as Bharat, Saroo's friend.
• Arka Das as Sami, Saroo's friend.
• Emilie Cocquerel as Annika, Saroo's friend.
In October 2014, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman were cast in the film for the lead roles, although they were nominated in supporting categories. In January 2015, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Deepti Naval joined the cast.
In April 2015, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, and Divian Ladwa also joined the cast. Pallavi Sharda also joined the film's cast to play Saroo's friend. Hauschka and Dustin O'Halloran composed the film's score.
Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka teamed up to write the score for the film.
Sia wrote the song 'Never Give Up' for the film. noted songwriter Jimmy Radcliffe wrote the song 'The Sun, The Sand And The Sea' and Indian music composer A R Rahman wrote 'Urvasi'.