Saban Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the romantic drama “The Last Face,” starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.

Sean Penn directed from a script by Erin Dignam (“The Yellow Handkerchief”). Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), Jean Reno, and Jared Harris also star.

The movie made its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it received primarily negative reviews. Saban announced the deal on Thursday, the opening day of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Set against the backdrop of war-torn Liberia in 2003, “The Last Face” centers on a love affair between the director of an international aid organization (played by Theron) and Bardem’s relief-aid doctor. Together, they must find a way to keep their relationship alive in the extraordinarily difficult conditions that surround them, while battling their diametrically opposed opinions on how to solve the conflict, and their mutual passion for life.

“This is a thought-provoking film with unrivaled star-power and commanding performances,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “‘The Last Face’ is full of heart, intense emotion, and complexity. Sean’s unmatched talent and passion for this project truly come through.”

River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad produced the film alongside FilmHaven Entertainment’s Matt Palmieri and Bill Gerber. Jon Kuyper served as executive producer.

Saban Films recently acquired Zack Weldon’s feature debut, “Come and Find Me,” starring Aaron Paul and Annabelle Wallis, and Walter Hill’s “(Re) Assignment,” which will make its world premiere at Toronto. The pic stars Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, and Anthony LaPaglia.

Saban’s upcoming slate also includes Rob Zombie’s “31”; Colm McCarthy’s apocalyptic thriller “The Girl With All the Gifts,” which is making its North American premiere at Toronto and stars Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine; and John Michael McDonagh’s “War on Everyone,” starring Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James, and Tessa Thompson.

Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. CAA handled North American rights, with Lionsgate handling foreign rights.