Berlinale competition title from Norway stars Skellan Skarsgaard as an ex con.

Strand Releasing has picked up North American rights to Hans Petter Moland’s Berlinale Competition film A Somewhat Gentle Man.

The US distributor, which bought the rights from Trust Nordisk, plans a late 2010 release for the quirky comedy about an ex convict (played by Skellan Skarsgaard) trying to make a fresh start in the outside world.

Produced by Norwegian production company Paradox with support from The Norwegian Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the film has already been sold to 20 territories including Benelux, Poland and the Baltics.

“This unique and insightful film stuck with me since I first screened it in Berlin. Hans Petter Moland has directed Stellan Skarsgaard in an award-worthy performance and all of us at Strand are looking forward to introducing it to what should be a very appreciative North American audience,” said Stand Releasing’s co-president Jon Gerrans.

The Strand Releasing slate also includes Francois Ozon’s new film Hideaway.