Heading into the autumn festival season, French sales house FilmsDistribution has acquired three new projects at script level.

The first is the next film up from Hou Hsiao-Hsien called Le Ballon Rouge.Starring Juliette Binoche,the film is about a mother who can't cope with her child and the nanny shehires from Taiwan. Shootingcommences in Paris in September withthe film set to be ready in March 2007 and is produced by Les Films du Lendemain. Sales are to beginin Toronto.

Also on Films Distribution's slate is Lemon Tree, by SyrianBride director Eran Riklis,a $3.8m (Euros 3m) project that will shoot in February and March of 2007. FilmsDistribution's Francois Yon calls it a "political comedy" and likens it Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land.Set in Palestine, the film tellsthe tale of a woman whose lemon tree field is at risk of being razed at theinsistence of the Secret Service when the Ministry of Defense settles in anIsraeli compound next door. The woman eventually fights her way to the SupremeCourt to save the land.

Shot in Hebrew and Arabic, Lemon Tree is produced by Antoine deClermont Tonnerre and will be ready for Venice 2007.Yon says, "It's one of the best scripts we read this year." Sales will commencearound the time of Rome and the American FilmMarket in November.

Finally, Films Distribution has picked up Nicolas Boukhrief's$5.1m (Euros 4m) Cortex, a thriller set in a retirement home. StarringAndre Dussollier, the film is produced by Sylvie Pialat's Les Films du Worso and will be released in France by Wild BunchDistribution. Shooting starts in October with the film ready for Cannes 2007.The company will begin selling the film later this autumn.