Fledgling worldwide salesand distribution outfit Echo Bridge Entertainment has signed a reciprocal film dealwith US pay-network Showtime Networks.

The agreement sees EchoBridge distributing select Showtime Independent Films titles internationallyand Showtime licensing titles from Echo Bridge's library.

EchoBridge will acquire seven films for worldwide distribution, excluding NorthAmerica, all of which were produced under the Showtime Independent Filmsbanner.

Threeof the pictures played at Sundance recently, namely Baadasssss, Mario Van Peebles' homage to his father Melvin's1971 blaxploitation classic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song; Best Thief In The World, a drama about a dysfunctional child who burgleshomes that stars Mary Louise Parker and was directed by Jacob Kornbluth; and Speak, Jessica Sharzer's teen drama starring ElizabethPerkins.

Thefour other titles are Fathers And Sons, a three-part generational drama directed by Robert Spera, RodrigoGarcia and Jared Rappaport; Sexual Life, a relationship drama by Ken Kwapis that stars Anne Heche; the grievingdrama Bereft, directed by TimDaly and Clarke Mathis; and The Good Humor Man, a 1970s coming-of-age picture starring KelseyGrammer and directed by Tenney Fairchild.

Showtimewill license select films each year for the next four years from Echo Bridge'sfilm library for exhibition on its various networks.

Theterms of the deal also grant Echo Bridge first look foreign sales rights to alltitles produced by Showtime Independent Films over the next two years.

"Thisis a long-term relationship that has a tremendous upside for both Echo Bridgeand Showtime," Echo Bridge managing partner Michael Rosenblatt said in astatement. "Our core business lends itself to agreements of this magnitude;This will be the first of many deals we plan on completing to fulfill thecompany's mandate."

"Thisagreement reflects two companies with complimentary strategic goals,"Showtime's Matthew Duda added. "We are impressed by the organisation that EchoBridge has put together and look forward to working with them."

Echo Bridge has beenlaunched by industry veterans Rosenblatt, Michael Alexander, Lucie Salhany andDoug Hamilton. It aims to acquire six to eight "commercially driven" pictureseach year for worldwide distribution and to target and obtain select filmlibraries.