Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Bong Joon Ho’s Cannes Un Certain Regard hit Mother as well as the director’s 2000 film Barking Dogs Never Bite.

Mother will screen in official selection at Toronto and the New York Film festival before Magnolia releases it in theatres in early 2010.

The film is South Korea’s foreign language Oscar submission and stars Kim Hye-ja as a woman who dedicates her life to proving the innocence of her son whom she believes has been wrongly accused of murder.

Magnolia’s senior vice-president Tom Quinn and head of business affairs Chris Matson brokered the deal with CJ Entertainment’s senior vice-president Kini S Kim and director of international sales Eric Kim.

Barking Dogs Never Bite is a dark comedy about an out-of-work college professor who is driven mad by the sound of barking dogs in his apartment building and eventually resorts to kidnapping them.

Magnolia and Bong previously collaborated on the 2007 release of The Host. Magnolia executives said they were “excited to be the American home for the film-maker, one of the most dynamic and exciting on the world stage today.”