New York-based Grasshopper Film has acquired US rights to Chinese director Bi Gan’s Kaili Blues, which won two awards at last year’s Locarno film festival.

The film, which also played at Toronto, will receive its US premiere next week at the New Directors New Films event, co-hosted by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Lincoln Center. In Locarno, it picked up awards for best emerging director and a special mention for the First Feature award.

The debut feature from 26-year-old Bi Gan, Kaili Blues follows a doctor who sets off to search for his brother’s abandoned child and his colleague’s old lover. Bi Gan is now working on his second film, The Last Night On Earth.

The US deal was negotiated by Grasshopper Films founder and president Ryan Krivoshey and Jack Lee of China Film International. Grasshopper is planning a theatrical release later this year.

“I can’t recall the last time I saw a debut as breathtaking and visionary as Kaili Blues,” said Ryan Krivoshey. “We’re thrilled to have this amazing film as part of our initial slate of releases and are eager to bring it to US screens.”

Grasshopper is a start-up distribution company, focused on critically acclaimed and award-winning independent cinema. The company’s recent acquisitions also include Asghar Farhadi’s Fireworks Wednesday, Hong Sangsoo’s Right Now, Wrong Then and Natalie Cristiani’s The Artefacta: Nicola Costantino.