EXCLUSIVE: Top of the Lake co-director boards See-Saw’s true story about an orphan reunited with his mother after 25 years.
The King’s Speech producer See-Saw and Sunstar Entertainment have attached Top of the Lake co-director Garth Davis to their project A Long Way Home, based on Saroo Brierley’s autobiography.
Brierley’s remarkable life story made headlines around the world last year after the one-time orphan was reunited with his mother after 25 years. See-Saw and Sunstar optioned rights to the story earlier this year.
At five-years-old, Brierley found himself 1,500km from home, having fallen asleep aboard a train bound for Calcutta. Scared and alone he was forced to live a life on the streets.
Saved from an orphanage by an Australian couple, he was brought up in Tasmania always wondering if he would ever see his Indian family again. Aided by the support of his adopted parents and the technology of Google Earth, he was able to track down his Indian mother and family, ending a 25-year journey.
Brierley’s autobiography will be released by Penguin this summer in Australia.
The production has yet to attach a screenwriter to the project. Daniel Levin serves as executive producer.
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Australian director Davis has had considerable success as a commercials director, winning gold at the London International Award show and the Gold Lion at Cannes, and in 2010 receiving a finalist nomination from the Directors Guild of America for best commercials director. Top of the Lake was his biggest TV break to date and A Long Way Home would mark his feature debut.
See-Saw’s Emile Sherman and Iain Canning executive produced mini-series Top of the Lake, which was co-directed by Davis and Jane Campion.
The outfit is currently in post-production on Tracks, John Curran’s biopic based on Robyn Davidson’s solo trek across Australia with her camels and dogs, starring Mia Wasikowska.
Sherman told ScreenDaily: “Garth Davis has highly developed cinematic sensibilities and creative integrity, with a keen eye for story and a deep appreciation of the actor/director relationship.
“Iain and I were very impressed by his stunning work on Top of the Lake and we are delighted that he will bring his talent to A Long Way Home.”
Sydney-based Sunstar was formed in 2010 by Andrew Fraser, Daniel Starling and Shahen Mekertichian.
Also on their slate is True Spirit, the true story of Australian sailor Jessica Watson who in May 2010 became the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world, non-stop and unassisted. Slated for a 2014 release, the film will be shot in Australia, with locations in Sydney and the Gold Coast. Paramount Pictures Australia acquired domestic distribution rights.
Sunstar represents both Watson and Brierley.
Davis is represented by UTA and Craig Emanuel at Loeb & Loeb.