EXCLUSIVE: Royalty Hightower, the 10-year-old who made her feature film debut as a young boxer who decides to join a dance team in the Sundance Film Festival pic The Fits, has signed with Paradigm in a competitive situation.

Hightower plays 11-year-old tomboy Toni in The Fits, the debut feature from director Anna Rose Holmer that Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired just before the pic had its North American premiere in the NEXT lineup in Park City.

Toni is bewitched by the tightknit dance team she sees practicing in the same Cincinnati gymnasium where she boxes. Enamored by the power and confidence of the strong community of girls, she spends less and less time boxing with her older brother and instead eagerly absorbs the dance routines and masters drills from a distance. She even pierces her own ears in an effort to fit in. When a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, her desire for acceptance becomes more complicated.

Oscilloscope plans a summer release for the pic, which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival.