Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train travelling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he 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, and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. Not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, he suppresses his 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. With just a small store of memories, and the help of a new technology called Google Earth, Saroo embarks on one of the greatest needle-in-a-haystack quests of modern times.
In <LION>, this movie is about family and love. What's there to live when your most beloved family is no longer at where at you are? Ironically, some commented that why Saroo took more than two decades to suddenly has this urge to find connection back with his lost touch biological mother in India without thinking much of her in the past and become obsessed with finding her just when technology made possible. If there isn't with the modern technology like Google Earth that he was using to find his way home, will he drop the urge?
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). 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. Five years old new comer Sunny Pawar gives a stunning performance over as 5-year-old Saroo that is so adorable that suits perfectly in the humanitarian-minded just fine.
“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.”
“This is a film about family, about those deep bonds that never go away, that underpin our lives. Garth feels those bonds. He is a director who is not afraid of emotions. He embraces the emotion but does it in a way that is real and fresh and edgy. He also has a spiritual side - there is a sense of fate in this film. It’s about destiny and hope and we knew that Garth would bring out those resonances in a way that another director might not have been so finely tuned to do.”