Nicole Kidman's 'Lion' to Roar at London Film Festival

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Nicole Kidman

The biopic, produced by local banner See-Saw and also starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara, will have its U.K. premiere at the October festival.

One of this year's hot awards contenders has landed a plum slot at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival.

Lion, which has the weight of The Weinstein Co. behind it in the U.S. and stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman, will have its U.K. premiere at the festival on Oct. 12.

Directed by Garth Davis, and adapted from Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, Lion tells the true story of how a wrong train takes a 5-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home. After overcoming many challenges, he is adopted by an Australian couple (Kidman plays the wife). Twenty-five years later and haunted by memories of his childhood, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth and sets out to find his lost family.

"Whilst Lion traverses many continents, it has a very special home here at the BFI London Film Festival and we are honored to be a part of it," Davis said Wednesday in a statement. "Dev Patel gave us everything for this story, and this being his hometown, makes it deeply special."

Patel and Kidman are expected to attend the festival gala screening. Mara is then believed to be shooting biblical biopic Mary Magdalene, from the same production house as Lion, See-Saw Films, also with Davis directing.

Lion is set for release in the U.S. on the coveted awards-friendly Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November, the same slot in which The Weinstein Co. launched Carol, The Imitation Game and The King's Speech.

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