LA-based American World Pictures (AWP) has picked up international rights to Indian screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala's directorial debut, Little Zizou, from The Indian Film Company (TIFC).

Produced by TIFC and executive produced by Mira Nair, the film recently won two awards - best director and best screenplay - at the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival in New York. It also won the best producer award the Asia-Pacific Festival of First Films held in Singapore.

Set in Mumbai, the film tells the story of two Parsi (Zoroastrian) families - one headed by an extremist who wants to cleanse the community of inter-racial marriages, and the other by a liberal running a sinking daily newspaper.

Taraporevala is a renowned screenwriter with credits such as Salaam Bombay and The Namesake, both directed by Nair, and Icelandic director Sturla Gunnarsson's Such A Long Journey.

'We are delighted that Little Zizou, our first international feature presentation, has received widespread critical acclaim. We look forward to our association with AWP who will be enabling this gem of a film to reach out to audiences in countries across the world,' said Sandeep Bhargava, CEO of the advisory company to Indian Films.

AWP senior vice president, international sales, Jeffrey Goldmann, said: 'We fell in love with Little Zizou on watching it. It is a simple, sweet and well-intentioned comedy with a message of tolerance at its heart. We introduced the film to buyers at EFM (Berlin) and will continue to do so at the upcoming markets to lock distribution.'

TIFC-affiliated company Studio 18 will give the film a platform release in India on March 13.