Bangkok-based Five Star Production has picked up international rights to biopic F.Hilaire, about a French priest who wrote a famous Thai language textbook.

Francois Touvenet Hilaire visited Thailand in the early 1900s and not only mastered the language but wrote the Darunsuksa textbook that is still used in Thailand today. Directed by Surussavadi Chuarchart, the film tells his story through a present-day teacher who is using the book and researchs Hilaire’s life for a Masters Degree.

Jason Young, a Bangkok-based actor who is fluent in Thai, plays Hilaire, while the teacher is played by Pharunyoo Rojanawuttitham (Still 2). The script was written by Chuarchart and Ek Iemchuen.

“We decided to distribute the film because we were impressed by the quality of the script and the acting. We’ve already had a lot of interest from Asian buyers,” said Five Star’s Amy Iamphungphorn.

Schedueld for Thai release in July, the project was produced by Bluering Company and OMAC. The crew includes several high-profile Thai industry figures such as Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s regular DoP Chankit Chamnivikaipong (Headshot, Nymph) and production designer Ek Iemchuen (Jan Dara, Nang Nak) who works with Nonzee Nomibutr.

Five Star is also launching sales on Achira Nokthet’s horror film Ghost Ship, which is currently in pre-production and being lined up for release towards the end of the year.