EXCLUSIVE: Altitude Film Distribution has picked up UK and Irish distribution rights to Human Flow, a film about the mounting global refugee crisis by world-renowned activist, artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei. The deal was struck with Lionsgate International, on behalf of Participant Media and AC Films.

The film looks at today’s massive global migration issue and examines both the staggering scale and scope of the refugee emergency and its profound personal human impact. Filmed in 23 countries over the course of more than a year, Human Flow captures the current condition of more than 65 million forcibly displaced individuals, who fled their homes in search of new lives.

Weiwei produces with Chin-chin Yap and Heino Deckert. Andy Cohen of AC Films and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann are exec producers.

Altitude is eyeing an early 2018 release in the UK and Ireland, which will be boosted by an impactful campaign developed in partnership with organizations working on the ground to aid refugees around the world. Amazon picked up the title in June for U.S. distribution.

Human Flow comes at a vital point in time in the face of growing apathy and demonization of refugees,” said Altitude chief Will Clarke. “The prospect of one of the world’s most preeminent human rights activist, filmmaker and artist like Ai Weiwei tackling such a subject matter was too important for us to ignore. At Altitude, we have proven and pride ourselves to be adept at supporting films with a strong sense of social conscience from I Am Not Your Negro and My Nazi Legacy to Moonlight and Love Is Strange. We are proud to be working with director Ai Weiwei on such an important subject.”

This latest acquisition comes off of the back of a busy Cannes for Altitude in May. The company picked up some of the fest’s most acclaimed titles including Grand Jury award-winner Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless, Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider and Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Critics’ Week opener Sicilian Ghost Story.