I-Dream Productions has picked up a slice of the US rights to Deepha Mehta's Indo-Canadian comedy Bollywood-Hollywood from Fortissimo Films Sales. The unique deal limits I-Dream's area of operation to specialist Indian cinemas, video outlets and TV channels. Fortissimo is days away from striking a second all-media US deal with another distributor which will release into mainstream outlets.

"We expect this approach to maximise the release, revenue and exposure," said Fortissimo co-chairman Michael J Werner. "Of course there are risks, but we expect to make it work for both the US distributors in a manner that there is no incentive for them to encroach on each other." I-Dream paid a "substantial six figure" minimum guarantee said Werner.

Outside the US I-Dream is already contracted to release the film in India on 800 screens on Dec 13. I-Dream has simultaneously expanded other territories including Malysia, Indonesia and the Middle East.Set in Toronto, Bollywood-Hollywood features Bollywood songs, Hollywood choreography, a Hollywood plot and a Bollywood morality play. It stars Indian actor Rahul Khanna and Canadian-born Indian supermodel Lisa Ray.

The film, which premiered at the Toronto festival, squeaked into Canada's box office top ten on its opening weekend Oct. 25-27, with a gross of $196,000 (C$306,000) on release through Mongrel Media.

Additional reporting by Denis Seguin in Toronto