Japanese productionand distribution group Artist House has acquired Cinema Parisien, themicro-distributor that has specialised in French and other foreign-languagefilms in Japan.

Artist House, whichoperates the Artist Film distribution company, says the deal is a horizontalexpansion that will complement its video distribution strengths.

Its 2004 video slateincludes art-house titles including 21 Grams, Lost In Translation, Dogville and L'Homme Du Train.

Following the deal,Cinema Parisien will change its name to Wise Policy, and three directors fromArtist Film, including president Naoki Kai, join Wise Policy's board.

Artist Film saysthat the new partnership will enable Wise Policy to expand the scope of itsacquisition, distribution and international co-production activities.

Artist Film has alsoco-produced international film projects such as Asia Argento'sforthcoming The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things and Jan Kounen's Another Reality. Company head Atsushi Okita will remain withthe outfit.

Although it is apublic company, quoted on Tokyo's Mothers stock exchange, Artist Housedid not disclose the acquisition terms. However, news wire services havereported the transaction to have been concluded at a symbolic $0.84 (Yen89).