Specialty U.S. distribution company KimStim is to give a North American release to “Wood and Water,” a German-made feature set against the backdrop of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

The film premiered in the Deutsche Perspektive section of this year’s erlinaleand won the Compass-Perspektive Award special mention during the Berlin festival’s summer edition. It also scored at the New Directors/New Films festival at new York’s Lincoln Center.

It is the feature debut of Jonas Bak, who was previously based in London and Hong Kong, where he worked as a freelance film director and director of cinematography, before returning to his native Germany.

“Wood and Water” was shot on 16mm film and is loosely inspired by real events. The film’s lead role is played by Bak’s mother Anke, as she finds herself facing the void of retirement. A trip to Hong Kong, where her son Max lives brings a sense of discovery to her life, as she makes local friends.

“The film is an aesthetic and philosophical project for Bak, who stresses the importance of the patient act of perceiving encouraged by slow cinema in an increasingly harried digital world,” producers said. The story is complemented by Alex Grigoras’ cinematography and the music of Brian Eno.

We were completely amazed by this deeply moving and warm exploration into overcoming loneliness and longing. It’s one of the most cinematic looks at these themes we’ve ever seen with some really spectacularly shot sequences. Especially the ones filmed in Hong Kong, which likely capture some of the last days of a freedom there,” said KimStim co-president Mika Kimoto. notes

Kimoto negotiated the North American acquisition with producer Charlotte Lelong. “KimStim is truly passionate about film and see the potential in Jonas Bak’ confident and unique cinematic language,” Lelong said.

KimStim is a 21-year-old Brooklyn based, full-service distribution company dedicated to the release of exceptional independent, foreign, and documentary film. Its past releases have included “An Elephant Sitting Still,” “The Wolf House” “Angels Wear White” and “Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts.”