ContentFilm International has acquired worldwide sales rights to Jason Lehel’s Gaia, which will have its world premiere in Toronto’s Visions section.

Jason Lehel wrote, shot, co-produced (with John Gordon) and directed. The film stars newcomers Emily Lape, Ed Mendoza, Deswood Etsitty and Michael Pierce.

The story follows a group of Native Americans who found a young woman left for dead in the Arizona desert and bring her back to life.

Lehel previously worked in the camera department on films such as Gorillas In the Mist and Cry Freedom and has also been a DoP for commercials. Gordon previously worked at Artisan Entertainment.

Lehel said: “This film was like a leap into the dark. No script. Many amateur cast. Very little preparation. But the idea was very strong, and our actors and production team responded fearlessly to the challenge. Gaia is the daughter of chaos, and through that fire we made our movie!”.

ContentFilm International president Jamie Carmichael added: “Jason has made what can only be described as a stunning directorial debut. Gaia has an atmosphere and vision that is entirely original and real. The performances from Emily and Ed are standout - and clearly destined for awards recognition. Gaia has that special something that comes along very rarely. It is pure, beautiful cinema.”