New York-based distributor Cheng Cheng Films has acquired North American rights to first-time Chinese director Teng Congcong’s comedy drama “Send Me to the Clouds,” starring and produced by A-list actress Yao Chen. The company is planning a theatrical release for fall 2019.

“Cheng Cheng has always championed films with strong female leads,” the firm said in a statement. “We need to focus our resources and efforts on releasing women-directed films until its number is equal to that of men-directed films in our catalog. We make that commitment to ourselves and our audience. ‘Send Me to the Clouds’ is a perfect start.”

The film examines the societal pressures facing women born under China’s One Child Policy through the misadventures of a young journalist who, after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, goes in search of sex and money before she must face an expensive surgery that will physically numb her.

The deal was signed by Tony Yin, Cheng Cheng’s director of business affairs, and Julian Chiu, Hong Kong-based Edko Film’s senior manager of international sales.

After hitting the local festival circuit with screenings at the Shanghai International Film Festival and the FIRST International Film Festival, the film opened in Chinese theaters this past weekend, and has grossed $1.7 million (RMB12.3 million) so far, with ticketing platforms projecting a total gross of $3.59 million (RMB25.3 million).

Cheng Cheng, founded in 2015, includes Chinese language films such as Hong Kong director Derek Tsang’s “Soulmate,” starring Zhou Dongyu, “Crosscurrent,” which fought for the Golden Bear at Berlin in 2016 and won a silver bear for cinematography, and 2017’s “The Great Buddha+.”