Sales agentNZ Film has sold US rights to the psychological drama In My Father's Den to Tartan Films, which is looking to release thefilm theatrically in May 2006.

It's beenslow progress for the UK/New Zealand co-production that was one of the darlingsof the international festival circuit in 2004, but it was caught up in thedemise of UK sales agent Element X, which originallyhad sales rights outside the Asia-Pacific region.

It tooksome time for NZ Film, the distribution arm of the New Zealand Film Commission(NZFC), to wrest all rights back.

In My Father's Den won the International Film Critics' Prize atthe 2004 Toronto Film Festival, the Mercedes Benz Youth Jury Prize at the 2004San Sebastian Film Festival and 11 prizes at the 2005 NZ Screen Awards,including best director and best picture.

Writer/directorBrad McGann also took home the Special Jury Prize forbest new director at the 2005 Seattle Film Festival.

McGannadapted the film from a novel by highly regarded New Zealand author Maurice Gee.

The focusof the story is a disillusioned war journalist, played by British actor MatthewMacFadyen, who returns to New Zealand to face his past.

It alsostars local newcomer Emily Barclay and Australia's Miranda Otto and was produced byTrevor Haysom of T.H.E Film in NZ and Dixie Linder ofLittle Bird in the UK.

The otherfinanciers besides the NZFC were NZ On Air, Visionview and the UK Film Council.

The salewas negotiated by NZ Film's Kathleen Drumm and TartanFilms ceo M J Peckos. Tartan Film's upcoming US films include Marebito,Lady Vengeance, Battle In Heaven and The Death Of Mr Lazarescu.