Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Jan Sverak's Czech language WWII aerial drama Dark Blue World for theatrical release in North America, Australia and the UK. The deal brings the total number of territories to which the film has been sold all rights to 23, including Japan, Italy (Medusa) and Germany (Buena Vista).

According to the film's producer Eric Abraham, of the UK's Portobello Pictures sales are on target to surpass the 40-territory release achieved by Sverak's Oscar-winning Kolya.

Dark Blue World was released in the Czech Republic on 17 May and has already held the number one position there for 10 weeks amassing a phenomenal 675,000 admissions. The film's cast includes Charles Dance, Tara Fitzgerald (pictured) and Czech heartthrob Ondrej Vetchy

The film will have its international premiere at a special gala at the Toronto Fil Festival on Sept 9 which Abraham says will be an important launch pad for the film's North American release. "We are thrilled about the Sony Classics sale. They were our first choice. So far we are only selling all rights and with a guarantee of theatrical release."

For a review of Dark Blue World, key in the film's title in the Screen Daily search bar at the top of the homepage.