Icon Film Distribution has picked up UK and Australian rights to Lee Daniels' Push: Based On The Novel By Sapphire, the Sundance sensation which won both the jury and audience awards in US dramatic competition.

The deal was closed by international sales agent Elephant Eye Films which screened Push to a packed house of buyers on Saturday morning.

Noble took Scandinavian rights after the screening and Front Row bought the Middle East. Star Gabourey Sidibe is pictured in the film, playing abused teenager Precious Jones.

'The response has been so emotional in every territory,' said Elephant Eye's Kim Jose, who is partnered with David Robinson in the company. 'After all the press reports saying that it might be difficult to market overseas, it is not proving to be so with buyers. It has universal appeal: it's about being unwanted, whether you are black or white, fat or thin.'

'I think it's a unique film - courageous and creative,' said Hugo Grumbar, president of Icon UK. 'It has to be seen. That is why we are in independent distribution, to release films like this.'