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New York-based distribution company Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films have jointly acquired U.S. distribution rights to Italian director Michelangelo Frammartino’s Venice Special Jury Prize winner “Il Buco,” about a group of speleologists who in 1961 discover Europe’s deepest cave.

The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey of Grasshopper Film with Nadine Rothschild of Paris and Berlin-based Coproduction Office on the eve of the U.S. premiere of “Il Buco” at the New York Film Festival.

Gratitude, which is based in Los Angeles and Mumbai, is headed by Anu Rangachar, a producer and the former programmer for the Mumbai Film Festival.

With “Il Buco” Frammartino, whose dialogue-free “Le Quattro Volte” made a global splash in 2010, has segued with another similarly eclectic pic that has no dialogue or music.

His latest work reconstructs the young cave scientists’ journey to explore the depth of the Bifurto Abyss, 700 meters below Earth in the pristine Calabrian hinterland. Pic is lensed by Swiss cinematographer Renato Berta, whose credits include Louis Malle’s Venice Golden Lion winner “Au revoir les enfants.”

“‘Il Buco’ is a stunning masterwork,” said Krivoshey in a statement, calling Frammartino’s long-gestating work “a beautiful meditation on nature and humanity and a truly wondrous big-screen experience.”

The plan is to release “Il Buco” in U.S. theaters in 2022.

The film, which stars Paolo Cossi, Jacopo Elia, Denise Trombin, and Nicola Lanza, is produced by Marco Serrecchia, Frammartino and Philippe Bober. The production companies behind it are Doppio Nodo Double Bind and Rai Cinema.

Grasshopper’s upcoming releases include Italian trio Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi and Alice Rohrwacher’s doc “Futura”; U.S. director Todd Chandler’s doc “Bulletproof”; Colombian filmmaker Camilo Restrepo’s “Los Conductos”; and “Feathers,” from Egypt’s Omar El Zohairy, which won the Grand Prize for Best Film in the Cannes Critics’ Week.

Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films previously acquired Bangladeshi director Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s “Rehana” which they plan to release in U.S. theaters next year.