First-time MIFED exhibitor Eros International will be offering distributors the chance to buy Devdas, the Indian foreign-language Oscar contender, that was previously represented by Focus Features.

"The transaction is done at last," said Eros chief executive Kishore Lulla, who produced the film and has been negotiating to retrieve the sales rights from Focus for several months. "We had been holding back on sales until MIFED, when we had secured the Indian nomination and can unveil a coordinated sales strategy."

Lulla would not be drawn on details of the misunderstanding with Focus, which initially had world sales rights, but more recently has represented only a handful of territories. Lulla offered only "commercial reasons" by way of explanation.

A Focus spokesman at MIFED said: "We sold out on our territories." Between them the two sales forces are understood to have completed deals for France, Switzerland, Greece, Australia and, unusually, North Korea.

Eros' own distribution arms opened in India, the UK and on limited "Indiatown" release in the US. In the UK it grossed $2.7m and in the US $2.9m. Eros plans a US re-release of a shorter version in January next year.

Costing $12m, the musical showstopper is the biggest-budgeted "Bollywood" film of all time and was the first Bollywood-style picture to take part in the Cannes festival, when it played in official selection out of competition this year.

It was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and stars the biggest male and female stars of Indian cinema 'Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai respectively.