Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide distribution rights (outsideof South Africa) to U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, Mark Dornford-May's adaptation of the Carmen opera, which won the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

Nelleke Driessen, Fortissimo co-managing director, and NicoleMackey, senior vice president international sales, saw the film in Berlin.

Mackey said, "It's one of the most imaginative and heartwarmingfilms I have seen in a long time. The performanceswere great and the director's fresh take on the material is fantastic. We are planningfor a big event and market launch in Cannes."

The deal was negotiated between Tim Fox of Columbia Artists ManagementLLC on behalf of the producers, and Michael J. Werner on behalf of Fortissimo Films.

The South African film is a uniqueinterpretation of Bizet's opera performed in Xhosa (the "click" language).

A Dimpho Di Kopane production in associationwith Spier Films and Nandos, with backing from the Department of Trade and Industryand the SA National Film and Video Foundation, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha is producedby Dornford-May and Ross Garland.