London-based sales agency HanWay Films has released the first-look image of Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s “Sweetness in the Belly,” which Variety has exclusively. The shot shows the film’s stars Dakota Fanning and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Aquaman,” “The Get Down”).
The cast also features Wunmi Mosaku, best-known for British crime series “Luther,” and a BAFTA winner for “Damilola, Our Loved Boy,” and “The Big Bang Theory” star Kunal Nayyar.
Fanning plays Lilly Abdal, a woman caught between two worlds. Orphaned in Africa as a child, she escapes to England as a refugee, fleeing civil war.
“Lost in this cold new world, Lilly embraces the immigrant community in London, attempting to reunite people with their scattered families,” according to HanWay. “But as her friend Amina (Mosaku) discovers, Lilly’s mission isn’t purely selfless: A passionate lost love affair is revealed between Lilly and Aziz, an idealistic doctor. But can Lilly let go of the past?”
The film, which is in post-production, was developed by Sienna Films, and is produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films, together with Alan Moloney and Susan Mullen of Parallel Films.
Mehret Mandefro and Adrian Sturges are executive producers along with Laura Bickford and Fiona Druckenmiller. It is produced with the support of Telefilm Canada, Screen Ireland, the Ontario Media Development Corp. and Eurimages. Entertainment One will distribute the film in Canada.
HanWay’s slate includes Lone Scherfig’s “The Kindness of Strangers,” which is opening the Berlin Film Festival, screening in competition.