THINKFilm has acquired North American rights to Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's documentary Nanking, which premiered at Sundance in January.

The distributor plans a late 2007 release on the account of the bloody Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early stages of the second world war. AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis produced along with the directors.

'Nanking is an exceedingly well-crafted and moving historical recreation of a shocking event,' THINKFilm's theatrical head Mark Urman said.

'We are proud to add it to our roster of first-rate documentaries and believe that, like the best of them, it will move and enlighten audiences for years to come.'

THINKFilm will take Nanking to the upcoming SILVERDOCS festival in June. 'We are thrilled that THINKFilm has come on board to distribute Nanking,' Leonsis said. 'Their track record with documentaries is unparalleled and they share my passion for the subject matter.

'Recent events in Asia have reminded us that what happened in Nanking 70 years ago this December remains an open wound between China and Japan. If the release of this film, with its antiwar message can help heal that at all, it will be especially gratifying.'

Urman negotiated the deal for THINKFilm alongside president and chief executive officer Jeff Sackman, executive vice president of acquisitions and business affairs Randy Manis, and CAA on behalf of the film-makers.