'Vitus' dances to N.A. with SPC


Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American rights to the Swiss drama "Vitus" from German sales group Media Luna Entertainment, Media Luna said Monday.

Fredi M. Murer's "Vitus," which tells the story of a gifted musical protege who defies his parents, is Switzerland's official selection for the 2007 foreign-language Oscar nomination race.

"Vitus" debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and has since sold to more than 20 territories, including Germany (Schwartz-Weiss), France (Ocean Films) and Japan (Tokyo Theaters).

Already a success in its native Switzerland, where it has pulled in close to 200,000 admissions, "Vitus" will bow Dec. 21 in Germany.

The movie recently screened at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, where it won the audience award for best feature.