Australian Film of the Year

Lion named ‘Australian Film of the Year’ by the Catholic Film Office

The jury of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting has awarded its annual prize to Garth Davis’ Lion.

Based on a true story, Lion is adapted to the screen with great skill and empathy. Opening at India in 1986, Lion follows the history of a five year-old boy called Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who with his older brother Guddhu (Abhishek) as they provide food for his impoverished family by picking through landfills and pilfering coal from trains. Lost on India’s vast train network, Saroo ends up in an orphanage 1,500 km away from home in Kolkata, from where he is adopted by Sue and John Brierley from and taken to Hobart. Twenty-five years later Saroo begins to search for his hometown and lost childhood on Google Earth.

“A deeply moving and true story Lion holds together in a very engaging narrative displacement and loss, memory and family,” jury chair Fr Leonard said.

“The jury was particularly impressed by Garth Davis’ assured direction in his first feature film, and outstanding performances he realizes from Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, and especially Sunny Pawar as the five-year-old Saroo.”

“Lion is a film that celebrates the very best of human values and the triumph of courage and hope,” Fr Leonard concluded.

The jury also commended Don’t Tell.

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