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Sony Pictures Classics has picked up rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand to “Higher Ground,” the Sundance entry that is Vera Farmiga’s helming debut.

Pic, in which Farmiga toplines, screened as part of the dramatic competish at January fest. John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”), Donna Murphy and Joshua Leonard also star.

Story follows the experiences of a woman (Farmiga) and her husband (Leonard) in an evangelical Christian community. Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe penned the screenplay based on Briggs’ autobiographical book “This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost.”

Claude Dal Farra, Renn Hawkey, Carly Hugo, Jon Rubinstein and Matt Parker produce under Dal Farra’s BCDF banner, with Lauren Munsch and Brice Dal Farra (both of BCDF) and Jonathan Burkhart onboard as exec producers.

Distribution pact was negotiated with SPC by CAA.

“Higher Ground” is the latest Sundance acquisition for SPC, which snagged Brendan Gleeson-Don Cheadle starrer “The Guard” during the fest. Prior to the start of the festival, company picked up rights to Sundance offerings “Take Shelter,” starring Michael Shannon, and Morgan Spurlock doc “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”