Sony Pictures has pickedNorth America rights to Fredi M. Murer's Vitus, which is Switzerland's official entry in theforeign-language Oscar race and was the winner of the audience award for bestfeature film at AFI Fest earlier this month.

The film's sales agent MediaLuna Entertainment also sealed a deal at the AFM with Korea's CNS Entertainment.The film has sold to 20 other territories, including almost all of LatinAmerica to Cineplex, Mexico to Quality Films, Argentina to Primer Plano and Brazilto Circuito Cinearte, as well as to Belgium and Luxembourg (IFD), France (OceanFilms), Japan (Tokyo Theatres) and China (Hansion Media).

The story about a youngmusical genius who dreams of flying - with veteran Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (Downfall) playing his grandfather - has been one of the mostsuccessful theatrical releases in Switzerland this year with almost 200,000admissions posted in the Swiss German-speaking region alone. The Hugofilmproduction will be released in Germany by Schwarz-Weiss Film on 100 prints onDec 21.

Vitus, which began itssuccessful festival and sales career after the international premiere at theBerlinale in February, was awarded the Alice In The City Audience Award at theRome Filmfest in October and was voted one of the top three features bythe audience at the Chicago International Film Festival.

The film is being submittedfor the Golden Globes and has already been nominated in the categories of BestFilm and Best Screenplay for the Swiss Film Awards, which will be announced atthe Solothurn Film Days in January.