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Modern Films has snagged U.K. and Ireland rights to “Never Look Away,” the German-language Oscar entry from “The Lives of Others” helmer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The multi-generational story follows a young art student (Tom Schilling), who falls in love with a fellow student (Paula Beer). Her father (Sebastian Koch), a renowned doctor, disapproves of their relationship and vows to destroy it. Set in Germany, it spans three decades of the country’s history from Nazism through to the Cold War. The central character is loosely based on artist Gerhard Richter.

The three-hour picture, which premiered at the Venice Film festival, recently opened via Sony Pictures Classics. Beta Cinema was the sales agent. Distributor Modern Films plans an event-driven release plan similar to what it did with “Manifesto,” starring Cate Blanchett, and with HBO and Rai’s Italian-language miniseries “My Brilliant Friend.”

Thorsten Ritter of Beta Cinema says it is “thrilled to be working with Eve Gabereau and Modern Films, who are savvy and smart and will find extraordinary ways to connect with audiences for this masterly film.”

“Working across arts is a key part of what we do and how we work – and we look forward to showing this film in a range of cinemas and non-traditional spaces with top-end screening facilities, embracing its scale, scope and duration that do not rush the story – to great viewing-experience reward,” said Gabereau, managing director of Modern Films.