Cowboy Booking International, the New York releasing boutique, has created a new specialised distribution operation that will draw on an initial $1m private equity fund raised by Antidote Films to acquire and put out ten films a year.

The new co-venture between Cowboy and Antidote will go by the name Code Red. Their slate, which will cover the spectrum of art-house product from international festival prize-winners and US indies to classic international films, already includes two-picks ups.

They are: David Gordon Green's George Washington, which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival and was acquired here for Code Red from producer's rep Sharan Sklar; and James Bogle's In The Winter Dark, which was bought from Southern Star Film Sales, and stars Brenda Blethyn and Miranda Otto.

Cowboy Booking, run by co-presidents Noah Cowan and John Vanco, has carved itself a distinct niche as a hands-on marketer of small art-house films. In the US, where it also programme Manhattan's popular Screening Room in downtown Tribeca, its releases have included Aviva Kempner's The Life And Times Of Hank Greenberg and Ziad Doueri's West Beirut. Overseas, the company represents foreign sales outfits such as Good Machine International and Alliance Atlantis for festival and other non-theatrical bookings.

Antidote Films is run by president Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, producer of Lisa Cholodenko's well-regarded High Art and executive producer of Jesse Peretz's First Love, Last Rites. Antidote's production credits include American Saint and Larry Fessenden's Wendigo. Levy-Hinte says he is using the same equity financing structure typically used to produce independent US films with private money.