The Little Film Company has closed deals on its children’s film Spud led by Universal acquiring all UK rights.

Pinnacle has taken Australia, Another World will distribute in Scandinavia, Front Row will release in the Middle East and Terry Steiner has acquired for airline rights.

Spud is based on the South African children’s bestseller and stars John Cleese and newcomer Troye Sivan. The story centres on a boy who wins a scholarship to an elite boys’ school and must outwit the bullies who try to get him expelled. Donovan Marsh directed and Ross Garland produced.

Little Film Company’s vp of sales and acquisitions Clay Epstein closed the UK deal with Richard Thompson
for Universal, which has earmarked a first quarter 2012 release.

“It’s rare for a major international player to pick up a South African film for commercial distribution, so we are excited to be partnering with Universal UK, who shares our passion for the film,” Garland said.

Spud has been selected to screen at the Cinekid Festival in Holland this autumn and the Schlingel International Film Festival in Chemnitz, Germany.