Strand Releasing has picked up rights in North America for 99 Moons, an intense love story from Swiss director Jan Gassmann, which premiered in Cannes’ ACID sidebar.

Berlin-based sales group M-Appeal inked the deal with Strand, also closing deals for for the film with distributors in Israel (Shoval Film Production) and Hong Kong (Edko Films Ltd).

99 Moons tells the story of Bigna, a 28-year-old scientist, used to having everything under control, and Frank, a 33-year-old druggie who feeds on other people’s affection. Their different worlds collide, and they become obsessively entwined in a passionate and turbulent erotic love affair. The film stars first-time actors Valentina Di Pace and Dominik Fellmann.

With 99 Moons, Strand adds to its upcoming slate of European art house features. Recent acquisitions by the New York-based distributor include Francois Ozon’s Peter Von Kant and Ursula Meier’s The Line, both Berlin titles, and Alli Haapasalo’s Sundance entry Girl Picture.

Gassmann is best known for his documentary work, including Chrigu (2007) about a young cancer patient, which screened in Berlin’s Forum section, and Europe, She Loves (2016), an intimate portrait of four couples from across the continent, which also premiered in Berlin.

Prior to the Strand Releasing deal, M-Appeal sold 99 Moons to Almode Film for Germany and Austria, to Teodora for Italy, La Vingt-Cinquième Heure for France, Filmin for Spain, AT Entertainment for Japan, Scene & Scene for South Korea and Synapse for Latin America, among other territories.

99 Moons will have its U.K. premiere this month at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it screens in the festival’s new competition section, competing for the inaugural Powell and Pressburger Award for best feature film.

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