And so it begins: 8-year-old star of Dev Patel’s Lion can’t get a US visa

The film is scheduled to release on November 25.

The eight-year-old Indian boy Sunny Pawar, who plays an important role in Nicole Kidman-Dev Patel starrer Lion, is not getting a visa to enter the US.

The movie revolves around the story of Saroo Brierley, an Australian man who uses Google Earth to find the family that he was separated from in India, and Sunny, who plays the role of young Saroo in the movie, was supposed to be a part of the promotional events for the film, reported Variety.

As per the schedule, Sunny was supposed to fly to Los Angeles this week with his father, Dilip, to attend the film’s screening. He was then going to travel to New York City for the film’s premiere at the Museum of Modern Art.

“We are devastated that Sunny, an 8-year-old boy who is part of this amazing film and who is garnering such strong reactions from his performance, cannot be here to be a part of this experience.

“We are doing everything we can to fight this; we believe it must be the effect of immigration paranoia. He, of course, poses absolutely no threat to anyone. We want him to be a part of the celebration of this film and his performance. We fully intend to go through the proper resources and appeal with the State Department for assistance,” said David Glasser, Weinstein Co. president and COO, in a statement.

Sunny dominates the screen for much of the movie’s first hour, playing five-year-old Saroo lost on the streets of Calcutta.

The project marks his acting debut and has already earned him raves.

Sunny and his father still need to undergo an interview before they can get a visa. The Weinstein Co. is reaching out to contacts in India to try to see if they can expedite the process.

Directed by Garth Davis, Lion also stars Rooney Mara. The film is scheduled to release on November 25.


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