EXCLUSIVE: Tim Roth and Clive Owen will star alongside Catherine McCormack (Braveheart), Jonah Hauer King (Little Women) and Gerran Howell (Genius) in The Song Of Names, the drama that The Red Violin director Francois Girard begins shooting tomorrow in London. Based on the Whitbread-winning novel by classical music scholar Norman Lebrecht, the screenplay is by Jeffrey Caine (The Constant Gardener), and the musical score is by Oscar Winner Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings).

The film is produced by Robert Lantos, Lyse Lafontaine and Nick Hirschkorn, with Viktoria Petranyi co-producing. Mark Musselman, Peter Touche and Stephen Spence are exec producers. Pic will also shoot in Budapest, Treblinka, Montreal and New York.

The Song Of Names is an emotional detective story spread over two continents and half a century. Beneath the film’s stunning and emotional musical revelation burn the horror of a war and the lost souls extinguished from history. A journey through friendship, betrayal and reconciliation between the lead characters culminates in the Song of Names, as music shows the power to illuminate truth, heal and redeem.

Said Girard: “Friendship, brotherhood, betrayal and redemption over two continents and five decades. This is the remarkable cinematic journey of The Song Of Names, which brings us back to the darkest page of the Twentieth Century’s history. Walking the grounds of the Treblinka Memorial, I found my true motivation for this project. I am committed to making my small contribution to the fight against historical amnesia.”

Lantos said the story is told “in an original and emotionally compelling way, through a musical composition, the film drives home two of the most important words in my vocabulary: Never Forget.”

Lafontaine said she “was moved by the story about two young boys from different worlds, going through a war and its atrocities together, losing and then finding each other years later with their friendship still intact. It is about the darkest and the most luminous aspects of humanity. It is about legacy, memory, and the power of music that transcends all life.” Hirschkorn said he has “been obsessed with telling the story of The Song of Names ever since I read Norman Lebrecht’s remarkable debut novel 15 years ago. To be finally bringing it to the screen with such a talented team of collaborators, all bound by a shared passion for this epic and timeless tale, feels like a dream come true.”

Pic is set up as a co-production between Serendipity Point Films, Lyla Films and Proton Cinema, produced in association with Telefilm Canada, SODEC, Hanway Films and Feel Films.

Hanway Films is handling Worldwide Sales, and Elevation Pictures will distribute in Canada.

Tim Roth and Clive Owen are repped by CAA.