Prominent Paris-based arthouse distributor Diaphana Films has snapped up French rights to Iranian director Benham Behzadi’s Un Certain Regard entry “Inversion” (Varoonegi) prior to the pic’s Cannes fest world premiere.

Written and directed by Benham Behzadi, “Inversion” takes its cue from the phenomenon in which sudden temperature changes trap pollution, which is a big plague in Tehran.  With Tehran’s smog levels soaring, a single 30-something woman named Niloofar is torn between following family orders to leave the city with her mother, who is having trouble breathing, or challenge their decision and stay behind to pursue a potential love interest.

Pollution contributes to thousands of premature deaths in Tehran where the problem until recently was considered to be partly due to a lack of refined gasoline caused by U.S. sanctions.

Behzadi is known internationally for social dramas “Before the Burial” and “Bending the Rules,” which depicted an Iranian theatre troupe in a crisis while preparing for a performance in Europe.

“Inversion” is being sold internationally by Paris-based Noori Pictures, founded and headed by Iranian sales agent and producer Katayoon Shahabi who is a member of this year’s Cannes competition jury.