LONDON — Icon Ent. Intl. has snapped up worldwide sales rights for James Marsh’s docu “Project Nim,” which world preems on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20.

Icon has also taken U.K. and Australian distribution rights to the BBC Films and U.K. Film Council-funded feature pic, and will release it through its Brit and Aussie distribution arms in late 2011.

All other rights on the pic are available and Josh Braun from Submarine Ent. will be co-repping the film for North America, alongside Anthony Buckner, head of sales for Icon.

Produced by Simon Chinn through his shingle Red Box Films, who also produced Marsh’s docu “Man on Wire,” pic follows the story of chimpanzee Nim, who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment, which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child.

Exec producers for the pic, which is screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary competish, are John Battsek, Nick Fraser, Hugo Grumbar, Jamie Laurenson and Andrew Ruhemann.

Other titles on Icon’s slate include Mel Gibson’s “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” Emilio Estevez’s “The Way,” Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut “Coriolanus,” Jim Loach’s “Oranges and Sunshine” and “West Is West,” the sequel to 1999’s “East Is East.”