Fortissimo Film Sales haspicked up international rights to Shortbus,the much-discussed sexually frank new ensemble piece from Hedwig AndThe Angry Inch director John CameronMitchell.

The film, in which Fortissimoalso takes an equity stake, is an exploration of sexuality, art and music thattracks a group of people during a power cut in New York.

Casting is underway withproduction to begin in early 2005. Shortbusis written and directed by Mitchell and produced by Howard Gertler and TimPerrell.

"What attracted us most tothe project was the opportunity to work with one of the world's mostforward looking directors on this most unusual story. During a power outage inNew York City we observe the full range of human relationships, sexuality andconflict. We believe that this unique film will capture the imaginationof audiences worldwide," said Fortissimo co-chiefs Wouter Barendrecht andMichael J Werner.