Lions Gate Films International launched its J-HorrorJapanese horror franchise in Cannes with key territory sales on the nascentseries of pictures put together by the prolific producer Take Ichise.

The company negotiated worldwide distribution rights to thefranchise, excluding Japan, from Ichise's development and financing companyEntertainment Farm. Ichise's credits include the Japanese and American versionsof The Grudge as well as Ring 2.

J-Horror is Entertainment Farm's first projectand will comprise six features from the following collective: Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on:The Grudge, Ju-on: The Grudge 2), Hideo Nakata (Ring, Ring2, Dark Water), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse)first-timer Hiroshi Takahashi, Masayuki Ochiai (Parasite Eve, TheHypnotist) and Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0: Birthday and Scarecrow).

Sales went to Metropolitan in France, Mikado in Italy, A-Film inBenelux, Tartan Films in the UK, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Showbox in Korea,Lusomundo in Portugal, Village Roadshow in Greece, United King in Israel,Golden Screen Cinemas in Malaysia, Lark in Hong Kong, Mongkol in Thailand,Soraya in Indonesia, Applause Entertainment in Taiwan and Cinema WithoutFrontiers in the CIS region. Advanced negotiations for Germany are ongoing.

"We're very pleased that distributors with significant marketshare are embracing this franchise," Lions Gate Films Internationalco-president Sergei Yershov said in a statement.

"They realise that this is an extremely valuable franchise and apowerful brand that will satisfy the growing appetite for quality horrorfilms."