Chinese director Zhang Ming’s “The Pluto Moment” (“Ming Wang Xing Shi Ke”) has been acquired by French sales agent Loco Films ahead of its world premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

Based on “The Tale of Darkness,” a traditional local song of mourning, “The Pluto Moment” follows Wang Zhun, a director in search of inspiration for his new script, who embarks on an unpredictable trek across the mountainous region of Shennongjia in Hubei province with his savvy producer Ding Hongmei, young actor Bai, and photographer Du Chun. The journey brings them unexpected physical challenges, while also bearing witnesses to the subtle emotional ebbs and flows of the protagonists.

“‘The Tale of Darkness’ is a mourning song sung at funerals, one that recounts the origins of Heaven and the Earth, and the genesis of the human race,” said Ming. “The protagonists (of ‘The Pluto Moment’) are trapped in a dilemma of action and inaction, just like the people from ancient times who were trapped in darkness and looking for answers,” said the director.

Loco Films, the Paris-based world sales and production company created by Laurent Daniélou and Enrique Gonzalez Kuhn, is handling the international sales for the film.

Ming made his feature debut with “In Expectation” which premiered at Berlin in 1996. The film is produced by Shen Yang whose credits include Berlin’s Golden Bear winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” “Kaili Blues” and Bi Gan’s new film “Long Day’s Journey into Night” which is premiering at this year’s Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

“The Pluto Moment” stars Wang Xuebing (“Black Coal, Thin Ice,””White Haired Witch”), Liu Dan (“Night Train”), Zeng Meihuizi (“Summer Palace”) and Miya (“Kong Fu Yoga”). It was produced by iQiyi Motion Pictures and Way Good Entertainment Co.