Fox Searchlight confirmed today that it has scooped up North American rights to A United Kingdom, Amma Asante’s historical drama about forbidden love starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. The film, which premiered at Toronto and will open the London Film Festival next week, is set for release February 17.

Written by Guy Hibbert, A United Kingdom recounts the story King Seretse Khama of Botswana (Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in 1947 just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. The politically influenced attempts to disrupt their union sent shock waves through what is now Botswana and altered the course of African history.

A United Kingdom is a Pathé, BBC Films, BFI, Ingenious presentation with the participation of Canal + and Cine + of a Yoruba Saxon/Harbinger Pictures/Perfect Weekend/Film United production.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s EVP Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and SVP Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache, and by Pathe UK’s Managing Director Cameron McCracken and Head of International Sales, Muriel Sauzay.