As the androids in Japanese director Fumihiko Sori's animated sci-fi thriller Vexille invade the Piazza Grande for tonight's opening of the Locarno International Film Festival 2008, the $10m CGI feature has already been sold to 75 countries, including the US.

According to vp international sales and licensing Aki Harimoto, of production company, Shochiku, Vexille has been sold for the US to FUNimation, a Navarre Corp subsidiary, which plans a 2008 release.

The film has also gone to Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), Thailand (J-Bics) and Singapore-Malaysia (Innoform Media).

Sori, who produced Appleseed (2004) - Japan 's first CGI movie, which was distributed in 30 countries - reunited with his former animation crew including scriptwriter Haruka Handa for Vexille.

Set in 2077 the film follows a secret US special forces operation in Japan, which has for 10 years been isolated from the world, after leaving the UN in protest of a ban on robot technology. Daiwa Heavy Industries has since made strong progress in the area - its androids are everywhere.

The soundtrack by Paul Oakenfold (The Matrix Reloaded) is performed by, among others, Oakenfold, The Prodigy and Dead Can Dance. After Locarno, Vexille will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.