First Run Features and TLA Releasing have acquired North American rights to Richard Glatzer and Wash West's controversial film The Fluffer which will have its nationwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before opening in US theatres in Nov 2001. The film had its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival this year.

Set against the backdrop of the sex industry, The Fluffer follows three characters in Los Angeles - a gay porn star, a naive young man who has moved to LA to be in the movies and the porn star's stripper girlfriend - and tells how the young man becomes obssessed with the porn star. He eventually becomes his fluffer - "the person who provides the necessary stimulation to enable a male porn star to perform."

West is a director of gay adult films; Glatzer's credits include Grief and MTV movie of the week Anatomy Of A Hate Crime.

First Run and TLA founded a new label - TLA Releasing - earlier this year to handle alternative films, specifically US independents, foreign language films and films with gay and lesbian themes.