Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to “The Tribe,” a month after the drama won three Intl. Critics’ Week awards at Cannes.

“The Tribe” is set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, where the residents have turned to thuggery and prostitution. Performers use only sign language without subtitles or voiceover.

The film won the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution grant.

‘The Tribe” is directed by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky and produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska from Garmata Film Production. The cast comprises non-pro, deaf actors including leads Grigory Fesenko and Yana Novikova.

Variety’s Justin Chang gave “The Tribe” a strong review, calling it “breathtakingly controlled, riveting even at its most inscrutable.”

“I am very glad that my film will be released in the United States,” Slaboshpitsky said. “I have always believed in the universality of film’s language, and have always believed that dialogue and subtitles change the way different audiences perceive the film in different countries.”

Drafthouse plans to release the film in select theaters across North America and on a variety of VOD platforms and digital, DVD, and Blu-ray formats. The deal was negotiated by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato from Alpha Violet and James Emanuel Shapiro and Tim League from Drafthouse Films.