Santa Monica-based international sales anddistribution house Lightning Entertainment hasacquired international rights to Atlantic Streamline's controversial German/US thriller Grimm Love.

Lightning partner RichardGuardian will begin sales at Cannes on thestory inspired by the true-life cannibal case that rocked Germany and caused a worldwide mediasensation.

German distributor Senatorwas blocked by a court injunction on Mar 9 from releasing the picture afterArmin Meiwes, the 'Cannibal of Rotenburg', claimedit defamed his character.

Meiwes was awaiting trial atthe time for allegedly killing and eating a man he met on the internet in 2001.He was subsequentlyconvicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this week.

First-timer Martin Weisz' film version stars KeriRussell as a young criminal psychology student whose life spirals out ofcontrol after her research into a cannibal becomes obsessive.

Thomas Kretschmann andThomas Huber also star and TS Faull wrote the screenplay. MarcoWeber and Vanessa Coifman produced and Helge Sasse served as executiveproducer.

Lightning Entertainmentholds all rights excluding Germany and the US. A domestic distributor is yet to sign on.

"Given the events surrounding the banning of thefilm in Germany andthe global exposure the Meiwes case has generated, we feel there will be strong audience demand for thisfilm," Guardian said.

"Ultimately, outside of the controversy and uniquesituation surrounding the picture, this is an excellent film that marks the directorial debutof a major new talent in Martin Weisz. We're thrilled to have this on our slatein Cannes."

Guardian and senior vice president of acquisitions Joe Dickstein negotiated the deal with Graham Taylor of Endeavor on behalf of Atlantic Streamline.

Lightning's Cannes slate includesthe coming-of-age comedy Hey,Hey It's Esther Blueburger starring ToniCollette, spiritual drama Conversations With God, documentary Secrets Of The Code and the drama Parzania.