New Films International (NFI) is venturing into domestic distribution as it emerged that stablemate New Films Cinema will mount a US theatrical release for the dark comedy Burning Palms.

An ensemble cast of Zoe Saldana, Dylan McDermott, Paz Vega and Rosamund Pike star in the LA-set story about a group of diverse characters who head towards their often comedic fate.

NFI is screening the film and launching sales at AFM this week. “We are excited to be distributing Burning Palms worldwide and we are planning the US theatrical release for early 2011,” New Films president Nesim Hason said.

The overall deal was finalised after the film’s world premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival between New Films chief content officer Ron Gell, producer Oren Segal and Straw Weisman.

Burning Palms is a smart independent, cast-driven film that we expect will be a breakout film in the US theatrically and deliver in the international marketplace,” Gell said.

Burning Palms is a daring film,” Segal said. “Writer-director Christopher B Landon delivered a powerful narrative, with performances from an incredibly strong cast.”