Manhattan PicturesInternational has picked up US rights to Puerto Rican festival favourite 12Hours with an eye on an early March2003 release. Raul Marchand-Sanchez's 93-minute picture was showcased at theTribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Choice Award at the Chicago LatinoFilm Festival. A socially relevant drama, 12 Hours was produced by Puerto Rico-based production companyMuvi Films and focuses on five parallel lives during one hot and hectic nightin San Juan.

'The release of 12Hours keeps us on track withManhattan Pictures' goal of fostering partnerships with established innovativeauteurs such as Jean-Luc Godard, Michael Apted and Alan Rudolph, and rising newtalented auteurs such as Raul Marchand-Sanchez,' Paul Cohen, ManhattanPictures International's chief executive officer, said. '12 Hours is youthful and exciting filmmaking that illuminatesthe rich tapestry and the inviting cinematic rhythm of San Juan's nightlifebrought to the screen through the vision of Marchand.'