Music Box Films is ready to give filmgoers a lesson in art and history. The distributor has sculpted rights to Francofonia, which focuses on how the Louvre’s artwork musicboxfilmswas saved from harm during WWII. Russian helmer Alexander Sokurov’s film won the Best European Film in Competition, awarded by a group of European and Mediterranean critics, and had its North American premiere at Toronto. It’s the story of two remarkable men, Louvre director Jacques Jaujard and Nazi Occupation officer Count Wolff-Metternich, whose unlikely alliance would become the driving force behind the preservation of the museum’s treasures. A spring theatrical release is planned.

“In Francofonia, Sokurov does for the Louvre what he did for the Hermitage in Russian Ark: He makes a museum a vivid, living dramatic personae,” said Music Box Films Managing Director Edward Arentz. “And it’s our great privilege to bring it to U.S. audiences.”

The deal was hammered at TIFF between Berlin-based Films Boutique and Music Box Films. Music Box’s slate also includes The Club, Chile’s official Oscar entry that had its North American premiere in Toronto, and Israel’s Censored Voices.