The third RhodesInternational Film Festival has enjoyed a marked increase in activity amonglocal buyers.

Stroke, German film-maker Katerina Peters' portrayal of herhusband's battle against disability, became the subject of a bidding warbetween local majors Prooptiki and Playtime. Swiss sales agent Firsthandfilmsis expected to announce a deal later this week.

Meanwhile Spentzos Filmstook Greek rights to Czech Dream, directed by Vit Klusak and FilipRemunda.

In the main competition,Michael Cot, a founding producer of Canadian current affairs strand CBCNewsworld, won the Golden Deer for Shipbreakers, a drama about maritimesalvage workers in India.

Second prize went to Carpatia,a German-Austrian co-production directed by Andrej Klamt and Ulrich Rydzewskiabout ethnic minorities in the east European region.

The festival jury was headedup by Goteborg film festival chief Gunnar Bergdal and also included Sarajevofilm festival director Mirsad Purivatra and Greek film-maker MenelaosKaramanghiolis.