here! Films has acquiredNorth American distribution rights to Thai drama Beautiful Boxer from Arclight Films. The company plans to releasethe film theatrically in the US and Canada in the third quarter 2004.

Based on the true story offamed Thai transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol aka Nong Toom, the filmfollows the story of a boy who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's bodywho sets out to become a master at Thai boxing in order to afford his ultimategoal of becoming a woman.

Real-life kickboxing champAsanee Suwan plays Nong Toom in the film which was produced and directed byEkachai Uekrongtham, who also wrote the screenplay with Desmond Sim-Kim. Thefilm was in Panorama at this year's Berlin Film Festival and has been afestival staple ever since.

"We are thrilled to haveacquired Beautiful Boxer fromArclight Films," said Mark Reinhart, executive vice president of distribution& acquisitions for here! in a statement. "The film beautifully captures theincredible life of Nong Toom, and in a poignant way melds the drama of herpersonal story with amazing action sequences."

Reinhart negotiated the dealon behalf of here! with Lina Marrone who negotiated on behalf of Arclight.

here!'s upcoming releaseschedule also includes Franco Zeffirelli's Callas Forever and Merchant Ivory Productions' Merci Docteur Rey.