×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dakota Fanning to Star in Immigrant Drama ‘Sweetness in the Belly’

Dakota Fanning is starring in the immigrant drama “Sweetness in the Belly,” which has begun shooting in Ireland and will continue in Ethiopia.

Zeresenay Berhane Mehari is directing from a script by Laura Phillips, adapted from Camilla Gibb’s bestselling novel that explores an immigrant’s life from the unique perspective of being orphaned in Africa as a child, escaping to England as a refugee, embracing the immigrant community in London, and attempting to reunite people with their scattered families — while dealing with a passionate lost love affair with a doctor.

Other cast members include Wunmi Mosaku and Kunal Nayyar (“The Big Bang Theory”). The project was unveiled at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival with Saoirse Ronan initially attached.

Berhane Mehari’s first feature film, “Difret,” was executive produced by Angelina Jolie and won the audience awards at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and in the panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival.

“Sweetness in the Belly” was developed by Sienna Films, and is produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films with Alan Moloney and Susan Mullen of Parallel Films. Mehret Mandefro and Adrian Sturges are executive producers, along with Laura Bickford and Fiona Druckenmiller.

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution, and is selling “Sweetness in the Belly” at the American Film Market. Entertainment One will distribute the movie in Canada. The movie is produced with the support of Telefilm Canada, Screen Ireland, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and Eurimages.

HanWay Films’ Gabrielle Stewart said, “We have always loved this moving fish-out-water story which connects us to a young refugee’s experience in London when escaping her war-torn home. The spin of this refugee originally being British and Caucasian, yet raised Muslim in Africa, makes this perspective incredibly fresh and timely. We are all thrilled to have caught Dakota Fanning at a really exciting point in her career.”

Fanning appeared in “Ocean’s 8” and in TNT’s “The Alienist.” She will portray Charles Manson follower Squeaky Fromme in the Quentin Tarantino pic “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Fanning is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment, WME, and Hansen Jacobson. Mosaku is represented by Scott Marshall Partners, The Gersh Agency, Principal Entertainment LA, Innovative Artists, Lovett Management, and lawyer Jim Hornstein. The news was first reported by Screen International.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 180423_A24_Day_03B_0897.jpg

    'The Lighthouse,' 'Uncut Gems' Lead Spirit Awards Nominations

    “The Lighthouse” and “Uncut Gems” led the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations with five each, while “Give Me Liberty” and “Honey Boy” took four each. Best feature nominations went to “Uncut Gems,” along with “A Hidden Life,” “Clemency,” “The Farewell” and “Marriage Story.” Best female lead nods went to Karen Allen for “Colewell,” Hong Chau [...]

  • Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez Frozen

    How the 'Frozen' Music Team Helped Move the Story Forward in Disney's Sequel

    With Disney’s 2013 “Frozen” ranking as the highest-grossing animated film of all time and its Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” now an iconic empowerment anthem, how can the filmmakers and songwriters, reunited for “Frozen 2,” top the tale of sisters Elsa and Anna? “It was all about wanting to tell more of the story,” explains co-director [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck to Direct and Produce Historical Drama 'King Leopold's Ghost'

    Ben Affleck will direct and produce the historical drama “King Leopold’s Ghost,” set in the early 20th Century in the Congo. The project will be developed by One Community. Affleck will produce via his Pearl Street Films banner, alongside Martin Scorsese who will produce via his Sikelia Productions banner. Harry and Gina Belafonte will also [...]

  • The Two Popes Marriage Story Netflix

    Streamers Ramp Up Golden Globes Race With More Contenders Than Ever

    More films from streaming services are in the awards race this year than ever, prompting some handwringing among awards season voters — most notably AMPAS board governor Steven Spielberg — about whether SVOD films with limited theatrical runs are leading to the demise of theaters and deserving of the same consideration as traditional releases. Netflix’s [...]

  • billy eichner Lion King

    Why Vocal Performances in Animated Films Deserve Their Own Oscars Category

    Given all the praise heaped on Billy Eichner’s performance this year as the wisecracking meerkat Timon in Jon Favreau’s remake of “The Lion King,” which grossed $1.6 billion worldwide, you’d think he would be a bigger contender in the Oscar conversation. His work was such a standout, he even upstaged Beyoncé’s much-hyped appearance in the [...]

  • Jumanji The Next Level

    Box Office: 'Jumanji 2' Eyes $40 Million-Plus Debut

    Will Christmas bring a fruitful box office bounty for Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level”? The Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart-led sequel, which arrives in theaters on Dec. 13, is on pace to debut to $40 million to $50 million, according to early tracking services. Since tracking has been unreliably for sequels in recent weeks, Sony [...]

  • Pluto TV Picks Up Collection of

    Pluto TV Picks Up Films for Woody Allen Season on U.K. Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viacom-owned streamer Pluto TV has inked a deal with Signature Entertainment for a collection of Woody Allen movies from the 1990s and will put them out in a dedicated season on its AVOD service in the U.K. Woody Allen Fridays start on the service this week, with the filmmaker’s pictures playing on the Pluto TV [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content