After a ferocious bidding war, DreamWorks has picked upNorth American rights to Woody Allen's Match Point for a reported $4m.

The deal comes as UK buyers continue to circle what is considered one ofAllen's strongest commercial prospects in several years. The film, his first tobe made in England, is being sold internationally by London-based Hanway Films.A co-production with BBC Films, it is produced by Letty Aronson, LucyDarwin and Gareth Wiley.

"We received multiple offers from highly respected distributors - studios,mini-studios and purely independents," Hanway's Tim Haslam told"That's a very nice position to be in. Usually, as independent filmmakers,we are slogging around, desperate to make the American deal. This time, we wereable to farm numerous serious and motivating offers...we are delighted to bepart of Woody's renaissance."

Hanway has now sold the film to 46 territories worldwide. Key deals include TF1for France, Prokino for Germany, Medusa for Italy, Asmik Ace for Japan, OnPictures for Spain, Icon for Australia and New Zealand, and A-Film for Benelux.

Shooting is due to begin at the end of June on Allen's next feature. This isagain a co-production with BBC Films and Scarlett Johansson will again star,but further details of the new project remain under wraps. "I can assureyou his next film will have as many surprises as Match Point in thefinancing as in the type of film (it is)," Haslam said.

Asked to explain just why Woody Allen is capturing buyers' and audiences'imaginations anew and Haslam suggests it's the subject matter he is nowchoosing. "Match Point is a Hitchcockian story with wonderfulperformances from a very full cast. That's difficult to find these days."