EXCLUSIVE: Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) starrer Love Sonia, from Life Of Pi and Deepwater Horizon producer David Womark, has been picked up for UK distribution by Modern Films.

The U.S.-Indian drama, about a young girl’s journey to rescue her sister from the devastating world of international sex trafficking, stars newcomer Mrunal Thakur in the title role, Richa Chadda, Demi Moore, Pinto, Mark Duplass, Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao, Anupam Kher and Adil Hussain. Tabrez Noorani co-wrote, co-produced and directed.

The Hindi and English-language film opened the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival in June. Noorani was previously line producer on Slumdog Millionaire and co-producer of Julian Schnabel’s Miral. He met Womark on Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi. 

The project had support and guidance from two of the world’s largest anti-trafficking NGOs. Executive producers include Pravesh Sahni from his and Noorani’s India Take One Productions, Hannah Zhang from L’Chaim Investments and Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham).

The UK deal was done between Modern and the film’s producers. Release is due early next year.

Eve Gabereau’s growing arthouse label Modern Films has previously picked up movies including The Rape of Recy Taylor by Nancy Buirski, Sundance pic Skate Kitchen by Crystal Moselle, Berlin Competition title Utøya – July 22, by Erik Poppe, and Sweden’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar, Border. Gabereau previously co-founded stalwart UK indie Soda Pictures.