IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the drama “Babyteeth,” starring Eliza Scanlen, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn, and Toby Wallace, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film had its world premiere in competition at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival, where Wallace won the Marcello Mastroianni award for best new young performer. It will be released by IFC Films in 2020.

“Babyteeth” is Shannon Murphy’s directorial debut and an adaptation of the play written by Rita Kalnejais. Scanlen plays a seriously ill teenager who falls madly in love with Wallace’s small-time drug dealer in what is her parents’ worst nightmare. But her first brush with love brings her a new lust for life.

Guy Lodge praised Scanlen in his Variety review: “She nails a tricky assignment in her big-screen debut, playing both an ethereal otherness and a yearning, immediate, only-too-recognizable adolescent want in the cancer-stricken Milla — as befits a character who has both accepted that she’s not long for this world, and resolved to make herself a little more worldly within it before her time’s up.”

The film is produced by Alex White and executive produced by Jan Chapman (“The Piano”) and received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW with support of Jan Chapman Films, WeirAnderson.com, Whitefalk Films and Spectrum Films.

Arianna Bocco of IFC Films said, “As IFC Films approaches its 20th anniversary, we are ever more committed to showcasing bold new filmmakers, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating on this impressive and affecting debut with the talented Shannon Murphy at the helm.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco with Hengameh Panahi of Celluloid Dreams on behalf of the producers.