EXCLUSIVE: Following a heated auction, See-Saw’s upcoming Kate Winslet-Saoirse Ronan romance-drama Ammonite has pre-sold to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Lionsgate and Transmission for key international markets.

SPWA has taken a slew of international territories including Asia, Italy, LatAm, Middle East, Scandinavia, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. Lionsgate came out on top in the UK and Transmission Films has got Australia/NZ.

Shoot is due to get underway next month on the prestige project from Lion and The King’s Speech producers See-Saw and Lady Macbeth producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly. Francis Lee (God’s Own Country) has written and will direct the story inspired by the life of fossil hunter Mary Anning. Set in 1840s England, the film will chart the intense relationship that develops between Anning (Winslet) and a young woman (Ronan) sent to convalesce by the sea.

The project has been a red-hot prospect since being announced in December. See-Saw’s in house sales arm Cross City Films will continue to sell the film at the EFM in Berlin this week with key markets still on the table. CAA Media Finance is co-repping domestic rights.

Simon Gillis, See-Saw’s COO for Film, said “We are thrilled to be partnering with SPWA, Lionsgate and Transmission to bring this achingly beautiful love story to the big screen. Francis is an incredibly special filmmaker and has attracted extraordinary talent and world class distribution to Ammonite. We are excited to launch sales for France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan this week at the EFM.”

The film is being co-financed by the BFI and BBC Films, with Mary Burke, Rose Garnett, Zygi Kamasa and Simon Gillis of See-Saw Films executive producing. See-Saw developed the drama with BBC Films and the BFI. Gillis brokered the pre-sales on behalf of Cross City Films.