See-Saw Films and Sunstar Entertainment will produce a film based on the upcoming autobiography of Australian adoptee Saroo Brierley.
The companies have secured the rights to the inspirational story (Sunstar also represents Brierley), which will be published by Penguin later this year. Brierley was born in India, where he became lost in an overcrowded city at the age of five and was separated from his family for 25 years. Adopted by a family in Tasmania, where he grew up, he finally tracked down his Indian birth mother after searching for years using only Google Earth and a childhood memory of his hometown. (Vanity Fair has published an excellent feature on his story here.)
See-Saw Films co-founders Emile Sherman and Iain Canning won an Academy Award for The King's Speech in 2011 and recently completed Jane Campion's six-part television series, Top of the Lake. In a statement announcing the deal, they said Brierley's life story is irresistible for a filmmaker.
"The moment we heard it, we knew it had all the elements that make for great cinema. There is perhaps no greater human drive that the desire to find out who we are and to know our mothers. This, along with the incredible contrast between of our high tech world and the streets of Calcutta, make for an unforgettable story."
Brierley said he would be acting as a consultant on the film. “I’m a little humbled that my story is being made into a movie and I know it is in great hands with Sunstar and See-Saw," he said in the statement.
There is no set date for the film's production or location. While Sunstar Entertainment referred to the film as Little Boy Lost on its site it has no official title at this stage.
Sunstar Entertainment chief executive Andrew Fraser said: “This partnership marks a great milestone in the evolution of Sunstar and we’re thrilled to be working with Emile Sherman and Iain Canning at See-Saw Films.”
Sunstar is also co-producing another feature film for another client, Jessica Watson, titled True Spirit. Casting for that film began last October and production is expected to begin later this year. Watson, the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe, is also a consultant on True Spirit.