Hoyts Distribution has acquired Australian rights to Swimming Upstream from Summit Entertainment. Although principally produced out of the US, the film was shot in Queensland last year and directed by expatriate Russell Mulcahy, and stars two of the country's most internationally acclaimed actors, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis.

Hoyts acquisition head Richard Sheffield expects the film, which is still in post-production, to get a wide release in February or March 2003.

Swimming Upstream dramatises the true story of scriptwriter Anthony Fingleton's struggle to become an Olympic swimmer despite an overbearing father. It was adapted from his autobiography of the same name. Jesse Spencer plays Fingleton.

The film is produced by US-based Howard Baldwin and Karen Baldwin - and also Australia's Andrew Mason -- with Paul Pompian as executive producer. The Baldwins are executives with Crusader Entertainment, which is backed by Denver-based billionaire Phillip Anschutz and his Anschutz Group - which also controls one sixth of the US exhibition market.

Summit Entertainment closed a long-term agreement with Crusader Entertainment to represent its product in international territories in February this year (Screendaily.com, 21 February).