Artificial Eye has been on a buying spree. The voracious UK distributor has announced 11 high profile  acquisitions including a number of award winners from the recent Cannes, Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. 

The new additions include Ken Loach’s Route Irish, Jerzy Skolimowski’s Venice Special Grand Jury Prize Winner Essential Killing and Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, which has been purchased at script stage. Other acquisitions are Kaboom, 13 Assassins, Silent Souls, Attenberg, Gorbaciof, Archipelago, The Tree and Angels of Evil (Vallanzasca) The forthcoming London Film Festival will provide the first chance for British audiences to see many of these new films, all set for theatrical release in 2011.

“Our ability to increase the number and range of films we acquire for UK distribution has been greatly assisted by closing the Curzon Film Rights fund just before Cannes this year. These additional 11 films from great film makers around the world will complement an already busy release schedule for Curzon Artificial Eye in 2011,” said Philip Knatchbull, Chief Executive, Curzon Artificial Eye.

The new pick-ups have won a host of prizes at this year’s main festivals. Alongside its Venice Grand Jury Prize, Essential Killing (sold by HanWay) also picked up the Venice 2010 Best Actor Award for Vincent Gallo.

Attenberg, directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, won the Best Actress Award at Venice.

Silent Souls, directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko, was a critics’ favourite in Venice where it won a Best Cinematography award.

Melancholia, Von Trier’s follow-up to Antichrist (also released by Artificial Eye), is in post-production. It is about Justine (Kirsten Dunst) is about to marry Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) but her relationship with her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is deteriorating. All the while the Earth is on collision course with another planet.

Route Irish, which premiered in Cannes, screens at the London Film Festival where director Ken Loach will be giving a keynote speech.

13 Assassins, directed by Takashi Miike, screened in Venice and in Toronto as did Stefano Incerti’s Gorbaciof starring Toni Servillo. Angels of Evil (Vallanzasca), directed by Michele Placido, screened in Venice. Gregg Araki’s Kaboom screened in Cannes and in Toronto. The Tree, directed by Julie Bertucelli, was in Cannes. Joanna Hogg’s Archipelago screens this month at the London Film Festival.