First Pond Entertainment, a distributor of “issue-driven” films depicting marginalized and underrepresented communities, has acquired U.S. rights to the indie Canadian feature Window Horses and will give it an Oscar-qualifying run at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles starting on September 29. A limited release in other U.S. cities will follow.

Window Horses was written and directed by veteran Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, who has produced numerous documentaries and short films throughout the years. The film is a quirky and charming multicultural meld, telling the story of Rosie, a mixed-race Chinese/Iranian girl who travels to Iran to participate in a poetry festival, while hoping to discover why her Iranian father abandoned her as a child.

In explaining why she took part in the film, Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), who voices the lead character Rosie, said, “Window Horses hits all the things that are important to me: it’s pro-girl, pro-tolerance, pro-diversity, and PRO-ART! My nieces are mixed race and it’s very important to me that they see themselves represented in this society.”

Window Horses has already had a Canadian theatrical release through Mongrel Media, as well as a successful run on the festival circuit, screening at both animation and live-action festivals including Annecy, Toronto, Holland, RiverRun, and Sydney, among others. It’s also picked up a variety of honors, including best feature at the Stuttgart Animation Festival, audience award at Nashville Film Festival, best Canadian screenplay from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, best Canadian film at Vancouver Int’l Film Festival, and the feature film jury prize at Bucheon Int’l Animation Festival.

Besides Oh, the film features the voices of Oscar-nominated actresses Shohreh Aghdashloo and Ellen Page, and Hong Kong acting legend Nancy Kwan. Fleming produced the film through her Stickgirl Productions, with the National Film Board of Canada as co-producer. Kevin Langdale was the lead animator on the film, while the poetry sequences in the film were animated by guest director-animators such as Janet Perlman, Bahram Javaheri, Lillian Chan, Sadaf Amini, Elissa Chee, and Jody Kramer.

Window Horse joins an extremely diverse and wide open field of Oscar contenders in a year with no clear frontrunners.

Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew for an exclusive video profile of Window Horses director Ann Marie Fleming.

The news of Window Horses U.S. acquisition was first reported by Screen Daily.