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Music Box Nabs U.S. rights for Toronto FIPRESCI Prize-winner 'Ida'

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Chicago-based distributor Music Box Films has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights for Pawel Pawlikowski's "Ida," following its world preem earlier this month in Toronto, where it won the FIPRESCI jury prize.

The deal was negotiated by producer Eric Abraham, on behalf of the production, and Music Box president William Schopf.

Music Box plans a North American festival campaign leading up to late second-quarter 2014 theatrical release.

Set in the 1960s, the black-and-white "Ida" -- U.K.-based Pawlikowski's first feature set in his homeland Poland -- tells the story of a young novice nun (newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska) who discovers a dark family secret dating from the years of the Nazi occupation.

"Ida" is a co-production of Poland's Opus Film, Denmark's Phoenix FilmInvestments and the U.K.'s Fandango Portobello.

The film recently won the top prize at Poland's Gdynia film festival, where it also picked up prizes for best actress (Agata Kulesza, who plays the novice's aunt) and cinematography (Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski).

"IDA is a beautifully directed, powerfully acted drama that seamlessly weaves two wonderfully realized characters with deeply resonant narrative and thematic motifs," said Music Box managing director Edward Arentz. "In short, 'Ida' is a masterwork from Pawel Pawlikowski, and we look forward to sharing it with North American audiences."

Pawlikowski's features "Last Resort," the BAFTA-winning "My Summer of Love," and "The Woman in the Fifth" all screened at previous Toronto festivals.

Related stories'Ida' Wins at Gdynia FestMusic Box Films Brings Supernatural Drama "The Returned" StatesideToronto: International Films That Have Festgoers Talking 2013 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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