DEADLINE – Gravitas Ventures has taken U.S. rights to 2019 Toronto premiere “Sweetness In The Belly“, which stars Dakota Fanning in the story of an English child abandoned in Africa.

The distributor will release the film digitally on May 8, with theaters set to be closed beyond that date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on the novel by Camilla Gibb, the film was directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari from a script by Laura Phillips. It follows Lilly, who is forced to flee Ethiopia for England when civil war breaks out. She befriends Amina (Wunmi Mosaku), an Ethiopian refugee who has fled the same war. Together they begin a mission to reunite people with their scattered families. Kunal Nayyar and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also star.

HanWay Films is handling world sales and brokered the deal with Gravitas. The film was produced by Sienna Films and Parallel Films with the support of Telefilm Canada, Eurimages, eOne, Ontario Creates, and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. Executive producers include Laura Bickford and Fiona Druckenmiller.

“Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s follow up to Difret is another moving testament to the willful preservation of humanity and decency in the midst of crisis. We look forward to unveiling the film to U.S. audiences,” said Tony Piantedosi, Vice President of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.