Before the market has even begun, Pathe Pictures International is reporting a roaring trade on Julian Schnabel's competition entry, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly.

In advance of its world premiere next week, the adaptation of author Jean-Domninique Bauby's memoir about his life after he was incapacitated by a stroke, has sold to a number of territories.

They include Italy (Bim), Japan (Asmik Ace), Taiwan (CMC), Poland (Best Film), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Portugal (LNK), and Latin-America (Europa).

US buyers are already circling the project. 'There is huge interest in the US. We are very much looking forward to unveiling the film on the 22nd May,' said Mike Runagall of Pathe.

Buyers will also have the chance to see early footage of The Cottage (Paul Andrew Williams's follow-up to London To Brighton) and of Richard Laxton's Grow Your Own.

Pathe has confirmed that It's a Free World (formerly known as These Times), the latest feature from last year's Palme D'or winner Ken Loach, will be launched at one of the autumn festivals.

Other Pathe Sales

Outlaw (Nick Love, market premiere)
Benelux (Dutch Filmworks), Portugal (Lusomundo), Poland (Vision) Latin America (Quality Films) and Thailand (J-Bics), Pharf (Middle East) and Tiglon (Turkey.)

Waz (Tom Shankland, market premiere))
Include: Benelux (Dutch Filmworks), Germany/ Austria (Square One), Portugal (Lusomundo), Spain (Vertigo), Poland (Best Film), Latin America (Quality Films), Taiwan (Applause), Middle East (Front Row), Turkey (Tigon) and various smaller territories.

The Walker (Paul Schrader)
Include: Spain (Vertigo), Portugal (Lusomundo), CIS (Paradise) Poland (Best Film), Greece and Former Yugoslavia (Audiovisual), Scandinavia (NonStop). (THINKfilm had taken North American rights in a deal handled by Cinetic Media.)