Sony Pictures Classics has nabbed North American rights to “Never Look Away,” the new thriller from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, in advance of the film’s premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. The indie label acquired distribution rights in several other territories, including Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Scandinavia.

It’s a reunion of sorts. Sony Pictures Classics worked with von Donnersmarck on 2006’s “The Lives Of Others,” picking up a best foreign film Oscar in the process. Von Donnersmarck has a lot riding on his latest venture. His most recent effort, 2010’s “The Tourist” grossed $278 million at the worldwide box office, but was vivisected by critics. He needs to prove he still has the touch.

“Never Look Away” spans three turbulent periods of German history, as it follows an artist (Tom Schilling) who is haunted by experiences growing up in the Nazi years and during the Soviet-backed German Democratic Republic. He uses his paintings to come to terms with his childhood trauma. In addition to screening at Venice, the film will also be featured as part of the Toronto International Film Festival lineup.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, nor did Sony Pictures Classics say when the picture will hit theaters.