Lions Gate Films has boughtall North American rights to Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen from London-based The Works. The film will bereleased theatrically in spring 2003 and continues a relationship between LionsGate and Loach which began with Bread And Roses in 2001.

The film was in competitionat Cannes this year where it won the best screenplay award for longtime Loachcollaborator Paul Laverty. Martin Compston stars as a Scottish teenager from atough background who sets out to raise the money for a home when his mothergets out of prison. Rebecca O'Brien produced the film.

Lions Gate Films presidentTom Ortenberg negotiated the deal alongside Peter Block, president of homeentertainment, acquisitions and new media, and Jason Constantine, vicepresident of acquisitions. Aline Perry negotiated on behalf of The Works.

Lions Gate's 2003slate already includes Spanish thriller Intacto, Australian thriller The Hard Word and true life drama Shattered Glass starring Hayden Christensen and Chloe Sevigny.