Peter Elson's foreign salesand distribution outfit Global Cinema Group has picked up two new titles forCannes in the form of Merchant Ivory's Chinese romantic drama The WhiteCountess and an adaptation of EmilZola's classic revenge tale Therese Raquin.

The acquisitions follow theannouncement earlier this week (Screendaily Apr 27) of Global's jointfinancing, production and distribution venture with New Zealand productionhouse Daybreak Pacific.

The $16m White Countess is directed by James Ivory, produced by IsmailMerchant and stars Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave and LynnRedgrave.

Based on an originalscreenplay by Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, the story takes placein 1930s Shanghai as a disillusioned former US diplomat and a refugee Russianaristocrat come to terms with their lives.

Thepicture isdue to begin filming in China in August and will be released in the US through Sony PicturesClassics.

Global is also representingChris Terrio's drama Heights atCannes, which was produced by Merchant Ivory; Elson has had a longstandingrelationship with Merchant Ivory that takes in Howards End when he was at IRS Media to The Proprietor when he was at Largo.

The $10m Therese Raquin is set to star Joseph Fiennes as Laurent and Germanstar Franka Potente in the title role

Charlie Stratton adapted thescreenplay from Neal Bell's stage play and the $10m project is set to go beforethe cameras in the Czech Republic in the late summer.

Stefan Vorzacek and LudvikNemec of Lumar Film and Micky Liddell and Greg Berlanti of Liddell BerlantiProductions are serving as producers.

"We are thrilled to beadding both of these commercial and prestigious titles to Global's Canneslineup, and we expect a terrific response from international buyers to projectsof this quality," Elson said in a statement.