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On the eve of the San Sebastian Film Festival, Cologne-based Media Luna New Films has acquired world sales rights to “Waldstille,” Dutch Martijn Maria Smits’ sophomore feature, which world premieres Friday Sept. 16 as the opening film of festival’s New Directors competition.

Produced by Stienette Bosklopper at Amsterdam’s Circe Films, in partnership with Netherland’s pubcaster VPRO Television, “Waldstille” portraits the emotional journey of a man who has touched bottom but still finds reasons to attempt to find a way back.

Two years after serving prison time for drink-driving, causing the death of his girlfriend, Ben returns to Waldstille, his hometown, confronting his embittered parents-in-law who take care of his little girl Cindy. They plan never to let Ben see her. But he’s determined to make up for lost time with Cindy.

“Waldstille” marks Media Luna’s second collaboration with producer Stienette Bosklopper after Sacha Polak’s drama “Hemel,” winner of the Fipresci award at 2012 Berlin Film Festival.

“The unique signature of Martijn Maria Smits is exactly what we are searching for in a film to provide an effective placement in the international market,“ said Media Luna CEO Ida Martins.

According to the sales company, “the film leaves the audience alone with Ben’s emotions and intentions, but still manages to give a mysterious tone with a realistic and cinematographic quality.”

“In doing so, I hoped to preserve the film’s energy and ask questions of its audience. After all, cinema requires audience interpretation, enabling every viewer to have a different experience. The decision to feel or think shouldn’t be forced, but rather voluntary,” said Martijn Maria Smits, whose feature debut, family drama “C’est deja l’ete,” played at 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival.

The film is supported by The Netherlands Film Fund, The Netherlands Media Fund and The Co-production Fund for Domestic Broadcasting.