EXCLUSIVE: Canadian writer-director Jamie Dagg, whose debut feature film River premiered at the just-wrapped Toronto Film Festival in its Discovery section, has signed with WME in a competitive situation. Dagg’s thriller follows an American volunteer doctor in Laos who, after refusing the orders of a senior surgeon, is forced to take a leave of absence. Heading to a remote island in the south of Laos, his solace is shattered after he intervenes in the sexual assault of a young Laotian woman, accidentally killing her assailant. He is forced to go on the run.

XYZ Films is handling the U.S. rights deal for the pic, starring Rossif Sutherland. In advance of the fest, Elevation Pictures acquired Canadian rights.