Cannes Film Festival

The latest feature from celebrated director Terrence Malick made a big splash at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend, wowing critics and walking away with a huge distribution deal.

Deadline reports that "A Hidden Life" -- which tells the true story of Franz Jägerstätter (played by August Diel), an Austrian man who was conscientious objector in WWII, and refused to fight for Hitler and the Nazis -- sparked an intense bidding war after its premiere at the festival on Sunday, with numerous studios vying for the chance to distribute the flick. Fox Searchlight ultimately won out, besting the likes of Paramount and Netlfix with a whopping eight-figure bid that Deadline's sources estimate to be in the $12 million to $14 million range.

The film was hailed by critics at its debut screening, and Malick received a thunderous standing ovation from the audience, according to the trade. "A Hidden Life" is already being hailed as a return to form for the director, and it seems that Fox Searchlight officially has an awards season contender on its hands (not to mention a shot at the coveted top prize at Cannes, the Palme d'Or, which Malick won for "The Tree of Life" in 2011).

No word yet on when the film is expected to release in theaters. Stay tuned.

[via: Deadline]