Bleecker Street has acquired worldwide distribution rights The Art Of Self-Defense, a dark comedy set in the world of karate starring Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots and Alessandro Nivola. Riley Stearns wrote and is directing the pic, which begins shooting today in Kentucky.

The film centers on Casey (Eisenberg), who is attacked at random on the street
and enlists in a local dojo led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei (Nivola) in an effort to learn how to defend himself. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity and a woman (Poots) fighting for her place in it. Casey undertakes a journey, both frightening and darkly funny, that will place him in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor.

The End Cue pic is produced by Andrew Kortschak, Cody Ryder, Stephanie Whonsetler and Walter Kortschak. Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen is an executive producer.

Bleecker Street is prepping its premiere of Andy Serkis’ Breathe tonight at the Toronto Film Festival.