Lionsgate has acquired the US, UK and Australian distribution rights for BBC Worldwide's documentary feature Earth.

The 90-minute documentary project, shot in 35mm and HD, has been in the works for five years and is due for an autumn 2007 release. The film looks at the influence of the sun on life on earth by following the journeys of three animal families around the world.

Alastair Fothergill directed and Alix Tidmarsh and Sophokles Tasioulis produced.

The deal was struck by BBC Worldwide producer Alix Tidmarsh and head of legal Martyn Freeman and Greenlight Media producer Tasioulis with Lionsgate's Peter Block, president of acquisitions and co-productions, Jason Constantine, senior vice president of acquisitions, Eda Kowan, vice president of acquisitions, Wendy Jaffe, senior vice president legal & business affairs, acquisitions, Zygi Kamasa, CEO Lionsgate UK and Nick Manzi, senior executive acquisitions, development and production, Lionsgate UK.

BBC Worldwide and Germany-based Greenlight Media worked together on Deep Blue before Earth.

Other distributors already on board for Earth include Universum in Germany, GAGA in Japan, Gaumont in France, Wanda in Spain, Frenetic in Switzerland, and Audio Visual/Prooptiki in Greece.

Lionsgate's Block and Tom Ortenberg, president of theatrical films, said: 'Earth is a remarkable cinematic achievement that delivers a picture of life on this planet unlike any we've seen before. Lionsgate is thrilled to be part of this exciting production, and we think audiences will be utterly transported by Earth.'