Sony's Hong Kong-based content arm, Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia (CPFPA), has acquired worldwide rights, excluding China, to Stephen Chow's latest comedy feature A Hope.

Chow wrote, directed and is starring in the film which was shot in China late last year. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in North America.

CPFPA backed Chow's previous film, Kung-fu Hustle, which grossed more than $100m worldwide and picked up five awards including best film and best director at Taiwan 's prestigious Golden Horse Awards.

Commenting on the deal, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group vice chairman Gareth Wigan, said: 'Following our extremely successful partnership on Kung-fu Hustle, Sony is delighted to be working again with the exceptionally talented Stephen Chow whose original vision and unique comic humor will continue to surprise and delight audiences and has proven global appeal.'

Chow added: 'I had a wonderful experience with Sony on Kung-fu Hustle, and I look forward to an equally rewarding collaboration on this latest project.'

A Hope is a comedy about a poor labourer father, played by Chow, and his young son whose lives are changed when they take in a strange, new pet. The film was produced by Chow's production outfit The Star Overseas with China co-production partner China Film Group.