Icon Film Distribution Australia has acquired the rights to UK soccer hit Bend It Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha. The tentative release date is July in Australia and August in New Zealand.
It is generally acknowledged that British films can work as well in the Australian marketplace as US films and Icon's Australian chief executive Mark Gooder has a broader range of UK titles to choose from than his UK colleagues because the issue of who holds UK rights is irrelevant to him.
Icon's first Australian release, Gosford Park, has passed the $2.7m (A$5m) mark in its first five weeks, while Mel Gibson, who grew up in Australia, is visiting to draw attention to We Were Soldiers' launch on April 25, the Anzac Day public holiday held to honour Australians' war efforts.
Icon's line-up for the remainder of the year includes Swimfan, directed by the homegrown John Polson, the comedy Rules Of Attraction and the thrillers Company Man and Basic.