15 November 2018 The Irish Film & Television Network
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Dakota Fanning Leads Cast as 'Sweetness In The Belly' Begins Production in Dublin
06 Nov 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Fanning on set in Dublin.
Dakota Fanning has been unveiled as the new lead in Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s refuge drama ‘Sweetness in the Belly’, which has begun principle photography in Dublin this week.

The film is due to film in Dublin over the coming weeks and will continue on location in Ethiopia with the UNESCO world heritage site Harar Jugol set to feature.

‘Sweetness in the Belly’ tells the story of Lilly Abdal (Fanning), a woman caught between two worlds. Orphaned in Africa as a child, and raised Muslim, Lilly escapes to England as a refugee, fleeing civil war. Lost in a cold new world, Fanning’s character embraces the immigrant community in London, attempting to reunite people with their scattered families. Her motive isn’t just altruistic though, with a passionate lost love affair revealed between Abdal and an idealistic doctor.

Irish actor Saoirse Ronan was originally attached to the project in 2017 and was set to assume the role of Abdal. Laura Phillips adapted the script from Camilla Gibb’s novel of the same day.

The film is being produced by Alan Moloney and Susan Mullen of Parallel Films, with Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films who also developed the project. Executive producers include Adrian Sturges, Mehret Mandefro, Fiona Druckenmiller and Laura Bickford.

Irish cinematographer Tim Fleming is DoP with production designer Paki Smith, editor Susan Maggi and costume designer Lorna Marie Mugan will assume key HOD roles.

World sales of the film are currently being handled by HanWay Films at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.

Speaking about the unique subject matter of the project, HanWay Films MD Gabrielle Stewart told ScreenDaily:

“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.” 

‘Sweetness in the Belly’ is supported by Screen Ireland, Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Media Development Corporation and Eurimages.




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