London based sales outfit High Point Films has picked upinternational rights to Theo van Gogh's Cool.
The film had its world premiere earlier this month at theToronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section.
Targeted at a youth audience, Cool is an urban, music-driven thriller that uses amixture of professional actors and real life reformed criminals to tell thestory of disaffected Moroccan adolescents led astray in Amsterdam.
High Point's Ronald de Neef, who picked up the filmthree days before its Toronto premiere, said: "Theo van Gogh is a realtalent who has the ability to evoke the strongest performances from his cast.We are delighted to be representing this film worldwide".
The film, which is handled by A Film Distribution in theNetherlands, has sparked controversy because of its racial themes and crudelanguage. The Pathe chain of cinemas temporarily refused to book it, accordingto local press reports.
Producer Gijs van de Westelaken said: "We are pleasedto have found the right home for Cool.We were struck by High Point's hands on approach. We feel that they have theproducer's interest at heart." The film will have its official marketlaunch at the AFM in November.
Van Gogh is expected to cause further outcry in the nextcouple of months with his forthcoming 06-05 De Film, a thriller based on real events. All the actiontakes place in the day before the assassination of far-right wing politicianPim Fortuyn three years ago.
The film was fully financed by internet service provider Tiscali after van Gogh encountered problems raising finance from more conventional sources. Tiscali put up substantially all the Euros2m budget on condition that the film have its premiere on the internet and that van Gogh allow free access to a film crew to make regular "making-of" style shorts that have screened exclusively on its broadband networks. Despite the internet premiere, scheduled for December, van Gogh still hopes to secure a theatrical release and the film seems a likely contender for an appearance in January's Rotterdam festival.