South Africa's Primedia Pictures has signed a distribution deal with US-based AtomFilms for distribution of its 'Short And Curlies' series of short films following their acclaim at international film festivals such as Venice, Edinburgh and Cannes.

The agreement encompasses on-line and air-line distribution in all languages for five years. Seattle-based AtomFilms is a web operation that specialises in distribution of short films over the internet.

AtomFilms backers include both Warner Bros Online (soon to be part of AOL) and former Universal Studios chairman Frank Biondi. The company also has deals with the UK's Aardman Animations and made several acquisitions at Sundance including Jason Reitman's 16 minute short feature, In God We Trust.

The Short And Curlies series was produced by UK broadcaster Channel Four with backing from South Africa's Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and broadcaster SABC. The series comprises 11 five-minute films.

One of films, Portrait Of A Young Man Drowning, won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival last year for best short film.