RichardGuardian's Lightning Entertainment has picked up international rights to JeffCelentano's Russian-themed thriller Moscow Heat, purportedly the largest budgetedindependent picture ever made in Russia.

Moscow Heat stars rising Russian star Alexander Nevsky,whose credits include Time Of Change and Red Serpent, and centres on the efforts of a retired diplomat, LA detectiveand Russian police captain to bring down an international arms dealer.

Michael York,Adrian Paul, Richard Tyson, Joanna Pacula and Robert Madrid also star.

Nevsky co-wrotethe screenplay with Madrid and co-produced with Alexander Izotov.

"Moscow Heat is dynamic, fast-paced film-making,"Guardian said in a statement. "There's no independent film like this in themarketplace available for distributors and fans of the action genre.

"It has realbroad appeal with a compelling storyline and leading actors who are knowninternationally. Nevsky is Russia's Arnold Schwarzenegger and promises to be amajor action star."

Guardian,Lightning partner Rich Goldberg and Lightning vice president of acquisitionsJoseph Dickstein negotiated the deal with Nevsky and Madrid on behalf of CzarPictures.