UK distributor Artificial Eye is thought to be in final negotiations to acquire Fernando Meirelles’ 360, whichopened the BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday.

An announcement is expected to be made very shortly.

If the deal is confirmed for the film (which is sold by Wild Bunch), it will be a strong candidate to be released by Artificial Eye in partnership with Paramount.

Contacted today, Curzon Artificial Eye CEO Philip Knatchbull refused to confirm that the company had bought 360.

However, Knatchbull said that Artificial Eye’s alliance with Paramount is likely to continue. The two companies are currently working together on Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, with Artificial Eye releasing the film theatrically through Paramount.

“At the moment, it is just a one-off relationship on We Need To Talk About Kevin,” Knatchbull said, but he added that Curzon Artificial Eye wouldn’t “be spending the energy as a company building a relationship with Paramount” if there wasn’t the prospect of doing further films.

Asked about the thinking behind the Paramount hook-up, Knatchbull said: “it is all about improving the bottom line so we can take more risks. Obviously, working with a company like Paramount, they have better relationships particularly with the broadcasters and pay-TV companies than we do.”

Knatchbull also pointed to the shifting marketplace for UK distribution. “With Amazon coming on the scene through LoveFilm and Google coming on the scene through YouTube and Netflix, expecting to start video on demand distribution in the UK next year, that has created a slightly different structure and relationship between the bigger indie distributors, who’ve traditionally worked more closely with the studios, and the middle-tier distributors, of which I would say we were one. We’ve been invited to the table.”