Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American, Australian,New Zealand and Indian rights to Paul Verhoeven's WWII thriller Black Book.

Black Bookis based on true events involving the Dutch Underground and in particular thestory of a Jewish girl who falls for a Gestapo officer while seeking revengefor her family's murders. Carice van Houten and Sebastian Koch star.

The picture is shot in Dutch, English, German and Hebrew and hasbeen selected as this season's Dutch foreign language Oscar submission.Verhoeven wrote the screenplay with Gerard Soeteman.

It screened recently in Toronto and Venice, where it won theCinema Giovanni Award, and has also received Holland's Golden Film Award forselling more than 100,000 tickets in its opening weekend.

"This is a feast of a film," Sony Pictures Classics saidcollectively in a statement. "Paul Verhoeven has gone back to his roots tocreate a film as brilliantly executed as it is entertaining. Black Book is boldand emotional and colourful and exciting.

"We have wanted to release one of his movies ever since thedays of Soldier Of Orange [1977] and The Fourth Man [1983]. In our estimation Black Book is his best film." No release datehas been set.

"Paul and I are extremely pleased that Sony Pictures Classicsshare our vision for Black Book, and we're certain that they will do a wonderful job for us -they have a very good track record with European films," producer San FuMaltha of Fu Works said.

Maltha negotiated the deal with Jamie Carmichael of ContentFilm International.