Altered Innocence has picked up all U.S. rights to Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s second feature film “Beautiful Beings,” which was an official selection in the Panorama section of Berlinale this year. A theatrical release is planned for early next year.

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Heartstone” is an exploration of the deep bonds of adolescent friendship disrupted by penchants for violence with one foot placed in the realm of the supernatural.

The film centers on Addi, a boy raised by a clairvoyant mother, who decides to adopt a bullied misfit into his gang of outsiders. Left to their own devices, the boys explore aggression and violence but also learn about loyalty and love. As the group’s behavior escalates toward life-threatening situations, Addi begins to experience a series of dreamlike visions.

In Jessica Kiang’s review for Variety, she writes: “Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s beautiful and cruel second feature boasts an outstanding juvenile ensemble cast.”

She adds: “After his debut with 2016’s ‘Heartstone,’ a fraught and lovely rural coming-of-ager, Guðmundsson has moved to the city for ‘Beautiful Beings,’ but has lost none of his aching acuity in observing the ways that our friends at this stage in life can lift us up and hold us back, as adulthood blossoms less like a flower than a bruise.”

The deal was negotiated between Altered Innocence’s Frank Jaffe and Jan Naszewski and Katarzyna Siniarska from New Europe Film Sales.

Jaffe said: “After seeing ‘Heartstone’ I knew Guðmundur was a director to watch and ‘Beautiful Beings’ absolutely cements his vision as one of the best in Iceland. His method of bringing out outstanding performances with the young actors he finds is second to none.”