US distributor Zeitgeist Films has acquired Yung Chang's feature debut documentary Up The Yangstze in advance of its US premiere at Sundance.

The film, which had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2007, travels up the famed Chinese river to explore the end of a way of life as the nation prepares for the massive Three Gorges Dam. The film was produced by Mila Aung-Thwin, John Christou and Germaine Ying Gee Wong. It was co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

In a statement, Zeitgeist co-president Nancy Gerstman said, 'We are so proud to be distributing this stunning and heartbreaking true epic of life inside modern China. Like the rest of the world, we're fascinated and horrified by the destruction caused by the Three Gorges Dam, and Up The Yangtze gives an insiders' perspective, with compassion and dark humor.'

It's the second National Film Board co-production picked up by Zeitgeist. The New York-based company released Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes last year.

Along with Up The Yangtze, Zeitgeist's 2008 releases include several other films by first-time filmmakers: Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret's Camera d'Or-winning Jellyfish and Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's Telluride hit Chris & Don: A Love Story.