Samuel Goldwyn Films and CanWest Films have jointly acquired US rights to Australian title Better Than Sex from France Television Distribution (FTP).

The romantic comedy, a first effort by Jonathan Teplitsky, will be released through Goldwyn and CanWest's joint distribution venture, IDP Distribution (Screendaily, April 10).

The film, which stars two of Australia's most high-profile actors, David Wenham and Susie Porter, was a hot seller at Cannes for FTD, which also co-produced with Frank Cox and Bruna Papandrea. President, one of FTD's two theatrical sales arms, along with arthouse specialist Art Box, has also sold the picture to Key Films in Italy, Manga Films in Spain and Korean Film Art in Korea.

IDP is a joint venture between CanWest, Goldwyn and Carl Icahn, the billionaire backer of Stratosphere Entertainment. The company aims to acquire North American rights to smaller-budget films in a model similar to Lions Gate Releasing, distributor of controversial titles Dogma and American Psycho. Michael Silberman, former senior vp of distribution at October Films, has been appointed as COO and president of distribution and marketing at the company.