MADRID – Tarak Ben Ammar’s high-flying Italian distributor Eagle Pictures has acquired Italian rights to Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”

Struck with “Fundamentalist” sales agent K5 International, deal was announced just 48 hours before Nair’s political thriller world preems at Venice Aug. 29, opening the 69th Venice Festival, playing out of competition.

Eagle’s buy marks a preemptive move on rights to Italy, the prime sales territory for Venice titles, made by Italy’s only active big pic buyer after Mediaset’s Medusa and RAI 01 Distribution froze international acquisitions before the American Film Market, in order to focus on Italian co-productions.

With Medusa and RAI out of play, Eagle has a good run at not only big genre movies, its traditional focus, but more upscale fare as well.

Based on Mohsin Hamid’s bestseller, “Fundamentalist” stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan and Om Puri.

Lydia Dean Pilcher produced with Qatar’s Doha Film Institute, which financed the film. The DFI also co-financed the Ben Ammar-produced “Black Gold.”

Cinetic’s Bart Walker and Hal Sadoff for the DFI are handling the film’s North American rights. Ben Ammar and Carl Clifton, K5 partner and head of sales, negotiated the Italy sale.

“This is an important film with a message of tolerance and mutual understanding between cultures that is universal and timely,” Ben Ammar said.