Focus Features International has picked up international rights toFernando Meirelles' upcoming thriller Blindness and will commence sales at AFM this week.

Niv Fichman of Toronto-based Rhombus Media, Sonoko Sakai of BeeVine Pictures in Tokyo, and Andrea Barata Ribeiro of O2 Filmes in Sao Paulowill produce.

Riberiro and his O2 partner Meirelles recently signed a three-yearfirst-look deal with Universal Pictures and Focus to produce films by Braziliandirectors.

Potboiler Prods principals Simon Channing Williams and Gail Egan,who produced Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, will serve as executive producers onthe project, which is set to shoot next summer in Brazil and Canada in time fora 2008 global release.

Adapted by Don McKellar from Jose Saramago's bestseller, Blindnesscentres on an outbreakof blindness that envelops a city and forces a band of people to rally againstthe extreme government response.

"Fernando is a world-class filmmaker, and we are privilegedto be collaborating with him again after our great success together on TheConstant Gardener,"Focus president of international sales and distribution Alison Thompson said.

"Having gotten to know Alison and her formidable team so wellalready, I am confident that they will work hard on behalf of Blindness fromnow through our global release in 2008," added Meireilles.

Focus' AFM slate includes David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, Peter Hedges' Dan In Real Life, Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, Zhang Yimou's epic Curse Of TheGolden Flower, andRobert Ben Garant's Balls Of Fury.