Saban Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Sean Penn’s The Last Face, a love story set in the war-torn areas of Africa and starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem. The film, which will be released theatrically in the first quarter, premiered at Cannes in May.

News of the acquisition comes as Saban has two films premiering at the Toronto Film Festival: Walter Hill’s (Re) Assignment, which stars Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and Anthony LaPaglia, and apocalyptic thriller The Girl With All the Gifts, which stars Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.

The Last Face, written by Erin Dignam (The Yellow Handkerchief) and set in Sierra Leone, Sudan and Liberia, follows a love affair between Dr. Wren Petersen (Theron), the director of an international aid organization, and Dr. Miguel Leon (Bardem), a relief-aid doctor. Together, they must find a way to keep their relationship alive in the extraordinarily difficult conditions that surround them, while battling their diametrically opposed opinions on how to solve the conflict and their mutual passion for life.

It also stars Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color), Jean Reno and Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mad Men).

River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad produced the film alongside FilmHaven Entertainments’ Matt Palmieri and Bill Gerber. Jon Kuyper served as executive producer. Bill Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. CAA handled North American rights, with Lionsgate handling foreign rights.