Twentieth Century Fox has stepped into the “Nil by Mouth” arena, picking up the distribution rights for the United Kingdom for the screenwriting and directorial debut of actor Gary Oldman.

Sony Pictures Classics earlier acquired all North American, South American, Australian and Spanish rights to the film, which will have its world premiere in competition at next month’s Cannes film festival.

Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl. will handle the film elsewhere overseas.

Pic is produced by Oldman, Douglas Urbanski and Luc Besson.

Starring Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles, Edna Dore, Laila Morse and Ray Winston, “Nil” tells a gritty tale of a South London family, struggling through the ravages of alcohol and drug addictions, poverty and abuse in the working class neighborhood.

“We are enormously impressed by Gary’s debut as a complete filmmaker, and we’re honored to work with him on the U.K. release of this striking and original film,” said Jim Gianopulos, prexy of Fox Intl.

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