New York-based Cowboy Pictures has acquired US rights to Samantha Morton's critically acclaimed Morvern Callar which premiered in Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Cowboy president John Vanco negotiated the deal with Charlotte Mickie, managing director of international motion picture sales for Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group which financed the film and is handling worldwide distribution.

The film, which was the opening night film at the Edinburgh Film Festival, also played at Telluride and this week's Toronto International Film Festival. At Cannes, it won the Prix CICAE for best film of the Directors Fortnight along with the Prix de Jeunesse for best (non-French) film of the festival.

Cowboy plans to release the film, which stars Samantha Morton in the title role, later this year.

"In many ways, Morvern Callar is the film that Cowboy has been preparing for over the last four years," said Vanco in a statement. "It is a unique, important and transcendent work of cinema, and I am honored to be its US distributor."

Cowboy's previous releases include The Life And Times Of Hank Greenberg, George Washington, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition and Warm Water Under A Red Bridge.