Buena Vista has signed a three-year European distribution pact with Four Horsemen Films, the newly-launched youth and genre label of UK producer-financier Random Harvest.

The US studio will have a first-look option for theatrical distribution and exclusive rights for video and television on 12 feature-length films from the UK outfit. The partnership covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"The agreement with Buena Vista is an important step in the overall development of our company," said Alistair MacLean-Clark, joint managing director of Random Harvest. "It will be a crucial element in achieving our objective of seven quality productions per annum across the Four Horsemen and Random Harvest Pictures labels."

The first film to fall under the deal is $10-$12 million teen thriller Octane, directed by Marcus Adams (Long Time Dead) and written by Stephen Volk. Production is to start in May on the US-set film, which revolves around a mother who looses her daughter to a cult.

"It's the Jeepers Creepers model," Random Harvest joint managing director Tim Smith told Screendaily.

Four Horsemen, which is also to produce LD50 and Dead Meat this year, aims to make films targeted at the 16-21 year-old market. The division was launched as a sister operation to Random Harvest, which raised $10 million through the UK's tax-based EIS scheme. The venture backed Born Romantic through a longterm co-production partnership with BBC Films.

"We are excited to be partnering with Random Harvest because it will allow us to reach this youth market with products which, we believe, complement our own," said Rob Jongmans, senior vice president, Buena Vista Home Entertainment Europe.