Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Xavier Beauvois’ “The Guardians,” a female-powered historical drama that made its world premiere at Toronto.

Starring Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet and newcomer Iris Bry, “The Guardians” is set in France in 1916, and explores the lives of the women on the Pardier farm as they keep the family property going in the absence of their husbands and sons, who are off fighting in the Great War. The film follows the journey of Francine, a mysterious young woman who starts working for a family and becomes the center of a familial turmoil when the sons return on leave.

Sold by Pathé International, the movie was produced by Sylvie Pialat at Paris-based Les Films du Worso (“Timbuktu”) and co-produced by Rita Productions. Pathé, Orange Studio and KNM are co-producing.

Music Box Films plans a theatrical rollout in the spring of 2018, followed by a release on home entertainment platforms.

“We are pleased to be working with Xavier Beauvois to bring his intricate depiction of the Great War’s impact on the women of the French home front to U.S. audiences,” said Music Box Films’ president William Schopf.

Actor-turned-helmer Beauvois is best known for directing “Of Gods and Men” which won the Grand Prize in Cannes.

The deal for “The Guardians” was negotiated by Schopf and Pathé Film’s exec VP of international sales Muriel Sauzay.

“I am thrilled to have Music Box on board with this well-crafted, atmospheric, visually stunning and timely film by Xavier Beauvois who once again has painted with camera strokes,” said Sauzay, adding, “Music Box is an ideal home for this film and this deal solidifies yet again (Pathé’s) long-standing ties with this distributor who we hold in high esteem.”

Music Box Films’s upcoming releases include Alon and Shaul Schwarz’s “Aida’s Secrets,” Daniela Thomas’ first solo feature “Vazante” and Cédric Klapisch’s “Back to Burgundy.”