Lion: Family Melodrama, Starring Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham

Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Divian Ladwa have joined Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel in the cast of the feature film “Lion.”

Also featuring in the film are several of India’s best-known actors, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Deepti Naval.

After several weeks on location in India, “Lion” begins filming in Australia — in Melbourne and Hobart — in mid April.

Adapted from the true story “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, “Lion” is directed by Garth Davis (“Top of the Lake”) from a screenplay by Luke Davies (“Candy,” “Life”). The project is being produced by See-Saw Films in association with Sunstar Entertainment and Aquarius Films. Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder are producing with Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian and Daniel Levin executive producing.

In “Lion,” five-year-old Saroo finds himself alone and travelling on the wrong train away from his home in Northern India. Frightened and bewildered, he winds up thousands of kilometers away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets, dodging all sorts of terrors in the process. Eventually ending up in an orphanage, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple, and finds safety and love as he grows up in Hobart.

Not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, he buries 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 secret yearnings. With just a small store of memories, and the help of Google Earth, Saroo embarks on a quest… the search for where he came from.

Transmission Films will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand. The Weinstein Company acquired the pic at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where they closed the deal for worldwide distribution, excluding Australia and New Zealand.

The film is being co-financed by Screen Australia.