Alex Massis' NewYork-based marketing and licensing company The Film Source has acquiredworldwide rights, excluding the US, to Til Terror and Chris Valentien'sdark comedy Santa Smokes.

Featuring Terror, KristyJean Hulslander and Richard Glover and written, produced and directed by Terrorand Valentien, Santa Smokescentres on a disillusioned actor who tries to make a living as Santa during theNew York Christmas season.

His prospects change when ayoung woman dressed as an angel appears and lures him into a dream-like world.

The picture was completed inthe second half of 2002 and is a Spiel Film and Cine Plus co-production. It hasalready been licensed in Germany, where it won the 2002 Studio HamburgNewcomer's Award.

Harvey Cooper, The FilmSource's vice president of acquisitions, met with the film-makers at theIFP market in New York last autumn and the acquisition was completed whenMassis signed the deal with the film-makers at the Berlin Film Festival earlierthis year.

'This is a unique Santastory, unlike anything you 've ever seen before,' Massis, who isoffering Santa Smokes tointernational and North-American festivals, said in a statement.

'We are delighted totake it after a three years intermission in which we dealt only with classicsand re-issues.'

The Film Source is currentlynegotiating several other independent US titles to be offered for the firsttime at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.