UK-based sales and financing house IAC Films and Will Clarke's UK distributor Optimum Releasing are partnering on a UK release of IAC's To Walk With Lions.

The two companies will give the picture a nationwide release in May with support from several promotional partners and charities. The film, the continuation of Born Free's story, stars Richard Harris.

The deal is anticipated as the first in an ongoing partnership between IAC and Optimum.

IAC has also struck a pact with video operation Mosaic Movies for rental, sell-through and DVD rights in the UK on the film.

Since launching last Cannes, Optimum has quickly made a name for itself with canny marketing campaigns such as a re-release of Carol Reed's The Third Man, the only film to open against Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.