US independent First RunFeatures has acquired US theatrical, TV and home video rights to MatteoGarrone's The Embalmer (L'Imbalsamatore) which world premiered in Directors Fortnight atCannes last year.

The film was produced byDomenico Procacci's Fandango and is based on a tabloid case in Rome inthe 1990s about a provocative love triangle between a middle-aged dwarf, hishandsome young protégé and his girlfriend.

The deal was brokered byAndrew Herwitz of the Film Sales Company, between Jef Nuyts of Intra Movies andSeymour Wishman of First Run, who plans to release it in the second quarter2003.

The 22 year-old First Runcurrently has acclaimed documentary The Trials Of Henry Kissinger on release and Claude Chabrol's Merci PourLe Chocolat in partnership withEmpire Releasing. Later this month First Run will release The Settlers and Kira's Reason: A Love Story.