Brazil's Art Films has beaten off several other distributors to acquire local theatrical rights to Gramado festival winner Captain Pantoja And The Special Service (Pantaleon Y Las Visitadoras), a Peruvian title directed by Francisco Lombardi.

The company acquired the film jointly with local video distributor Europa Video. According to Art Films president Ugo Sorrentino, the company already has a busy line-up of Spanish-language films, including Mexican titles Amores Perros, Santitos and Todo El Poder, but found Pantaleon irresistible.

"It's a great film that fits well in the [Brazilian] market. And apart from the critics' positive reaction it has commercial strength," Sorrentino said.

Art Films is currently shifting its focus from exhibition to distribution in response to the influx of foreign companies building multiplexes in Brazil. "Instead of competing with multiplexes we decided to concentrate on distribution as all these new screens demand product," said Sorrentino.

The company has recently acquired a large raft of titles for distribution including Mary Harron's American Psycho, Hal Hartley's Henry Fool, Nancy Meyers' Mel Gibson-starrer What Women Want, Roger Donaldson's Thirteen Days, starring Kevin Costner, Brett Ratner's Family Man, with Nicholas Cage, and Joan Chen's Autumn In New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Rider.

"In addition to this backbone, we'll also handle titles from other independents and Brazilian films," Sorrentino said.