LA-based American World Pictures (AWP) has acquired worldwide rights to The Lena Baker Story, about the first woman in the state of Georgia to die in the electric chair.

AWP will screen the film to buyers in Cannes. Tichina Arnold stars as the victim of racial injustice who was executed in 1944 after she claimed to have shot and killed her sexually abusive employer in self-defence. Peter Coyote will portray the employer.

Ralph Wilcox wrote the screenplay and made his feature directorial debut. The project was the first feature to shoot at the 22,000-sq ft Jokara-Micheaux production facility in Colquitt, Georgia.

AWP's vice president of acquisitions Adam Singer negotiated the deal with Wilcox and Anthony Mulrain of Locke, Lord, Bissell and Lidell.

'American World Pictures is pleased to have the distinction of being the worldwide distributor of this very important film and we look forward to sharing it with our buyers during Cannes Film Festival,' AWP presidents Mark Lester and Dana Dubovsky said.

AWP will also screen in Cannes its recent acquisition Shoot On Sight.