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Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman drama 'Lion' joins BFI London Film Festival

Stars expected to attend UK premiere of true life survival story.

Garth Davis’ Lion, starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman, is to screen as the American Express Gala at the 60th BFI London Film Festival (Oct 5-16).

The film will receive its UK premiere on Oct 12 at London’s Odeon Leicester Square, with Patel and Kidman expected to attend.

Adapted from Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, the film tells the true story of how a wrong train took a five-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home.

He was placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by an Australian couple, Sue and John Brierley (played by Kidman and Wenham).

Patel plays the older Saroo, haunted by memories of his childhood, who set out to find his lost family using Google Earth technology.

Davis makes his feature directorial debut, having previously co-directed mini-series Top Of The Lake with Jane Campion.

Davis said of the LFF selection: “Whilst Lion traverses many continents, it has a very special home here at the BFI London Film Festival and we are honoured to be a part of it.

“Dev Patel gave us everything for this story, and this being his home town, makes it deeply special.”

Slumdog Millionaire star Patel said: “Lion is in essence, a story about mothers and sons and it’s a real honour for me to be in London among so many of my colleagues, friends and family to share this triumphant, immersive and visually breathtaking story.”

Lion is a Weinstein Company presentation in association with Screen Australia, a See-Saw Films Production (The King’s Speech) in association with Aquarius Films and Sunstar Entertainment.  Produced by Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, executive producers are Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, David C Glasser, Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian and Daniel Levin. 

It will receive its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September.

As previously announced, LFF will open with Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom and will close with Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire. The full programme will be announced on Sept 1.

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