FortissimoFilms has acquired the worldwide rights, excluding Japan and Korea, to Hula Girls, the latest film from director Lee Sang-il.

Thefilm, based on real events, is set in northern Japan in 1965, and tells thestory of a poor village's efforts to build the country's first Hawaiian Village tourist attraction. Hula Girls stars Yasuko Matsuyuki and Etsushi Toyokawa and is produced by award-winning Japanese companyCine Qua Non.

LeeSang-il's previous films include 69 and Scrap Heaven. Hula Girls will be released throughout Japan on September 23.

Cine Qua Non's Naoko Kunioka struck the deal with Fortissimo's Wouter Barendrecht, Michael J.Werner and Winnie Lau.

Werner said: 'This isone of those feel-good, heart-warming films that comes along so infrequentlyyet easily transcends cultural and language boundaries. From when we first sawthe rough cut, even without English subtitles, we knew that this is a film thatwould have broad commercial prospects and be fun to work with. With thatHawaiian music and the hula -- it's irresistible.'