Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater has been sold in the UK and Australia as part of Sierra/Affinity’s effort to peddle distribution rights to the drama beyond U.S. borders. Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Dimitri Leonidas, and Shohreh Aghdashloo star in the pic, which Open Road Films will release stateside November 7 as part of an Oscar-season push. Open Road bought the pic after a special screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Rosewater tells the true story of Iran-born Maziar Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London, who was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard police in Iran while attempting to cover the 2009 presidential election. He was tortured and interrogated over 118 days while his pregnant fiancée campaigned for his release. Bahari later wrote a book on which the movie is based.

The pic got a standing ovation at its world premiere screening in Telluride. It also played at Toronto.

As part of today’s deals, The Works UK Distribution will release the pic locally in March 2015 after its European premiere at the London Film Festival. Australia’s Transmission Films will release the film Down Under in January 2015.