UK independent Metro Tartan Distribution has acquired local rights to Sundance festival sensation Secretary (pictured) by Steven Shainberg.

The film, which features Maggie Gyllenhaal as a woman who enters a sado-masochistic relationship with her demanding lawyer boss (James Spader), was originally sold by the UK's Alibi Films. Lion's Gate picked up North American rights following Sundance, where it picked up the special jury prize for originality, and has since taken over the international sales mantle. Released by Lion's Gate in September the film has to date taken $2.75m in the US.

The film's content may raise the eyebrows of the UK's famously conservative censors. But Metro Tartan has pioneered UK releasing of daring films and recently won a notable victory when Gaspar Noe's Irreversible was passed by the British Board of Film Classification without cuts for its theatrical release.

In other recent acquisitions moves Metro Tartan bought Jill Sprecher's Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, from Overseas Filmgroup and Aleksei Balabanov's War (Vojna) from Russia's Intercinema. The Chechnya-set film stars the late Sergei Bodrov Jr.