THINKFilm has picked up allNorth American rights to Lajos Koltai's Holocaust drama Fateless, which premiered in competition at Berlin and becomeHungary's biggest ever box office hit in its native country earlier this year,drawing more than 400,000 admissions.

Based on Nobel Prize winnerImre Kertesz's screenplay from his own novel, Fateless chronicles the story of a 14-year-old Jewish boyfrom Budapest who is deported to a concentration camp and struggles to copewith life after the second world war.

The picture marks thedirectorial debut of Koltai, a cinematographer and longtime Istvan Szabocollaborator, and THINKFilm plans a North American festival premiere thisautumn before releasing it in early 2006.

ThinkFilm president andchief executive Jeff Sackman and US theatrical chief Mark Urman negotiated thedeal with the picture's producer Andras Hamori and Mark Horowitz of H2O MotionPictures and attorney Doug Stone of Traction Media. Ironically, Horowitz, who represented sales of the film for Hamori, has since started working as THINKFilm's head of international.

"Fateless shows us a vision of the Holocaust that has neverbefore been portrayed on screen," Urman said in a statement.

"It is a remarkableadaptation of a great novel, and the fact that Keresz himself has played suchan important role in its genesis makes it all the more meaningful anexperience."

"It is passion and commitmentthat brought and kept Fateless together during production, and that is what wewere looking for in our distributor," Hamori added.

"We are ecstatic that wehave concluded our deal with THINKFilm, a company that proved with its recentsuccesses that it operates with the same tools: ferocity and resolve."