Los Angeles-based HybridPictures principals P J Pettiette and Claudie Viguerie have launchedinternational sales and distribution arm Hybrid Pictures International (HPI).

The new unit, which willoperate out of Los Angeles, is preparing to bring the psychological thriller Jennifer'sShadow starring Faye Dunaway toCannes, where it will receive its world premiere.

Going forward, Pettiettewill handle production, finance and distribution initiatives while Vigueriewill oversee all international sales.

HPI will naturally take itslead from parent company Hybrid Pictures, which was set up to develop, produce,distribute and acquire arty genre titles with a focus on original foreignstories.

The company aims to producethree to five pictures a year in the $5m range and will announce new projectsin development shortly.

Working with internationaldirectors and in particular the tide of emerging talent from Argentina, HPIwill primarily sell titles by Hybrid and its Argentine outfit Etoile Filante Productions.However HPI will also handle acquisitions from other producers.

Jennifer's Shadow centres on a young woman who travels to Buenos Airesto claim the inheritance of her recently deceased twin sister, only to discoverthat she has an illness that has claimed the lives of her family. Dunaway starswith Gina Philps (Jeepers Creepers).

Filmed in Buenos Aires, Jennifer'sShadow was written and directed bythe Argentinean directors Pablo Pares and Daniel de la Vega. Pettiette andViguerie produced and Eric Biedermann served as co-producer.

"Hybrid PicturesInternational has been set up as a creative, innovative and aggressive salesand distribution company that operates on a sound business plan that allows usto choose projects that are artistic driven and distinct as well as financiallysuccessful," Pettiette said in a statement.

"Having a sales anddistribution arm allows us to capitalise on what we believe are first-ratefilms that should do substantial business worldwide," Viguerie added.

Pettiette's previous companyGeneral Productions produced The General, which garnered John Boorman the Cannes best director award in 1998.Prior to that he served as executive in charge of production and finance atMiklen Entertainment.

Viguerie is a seasoned journalistwho prior to founding Hybrid with Pettiette launched two magazines in Paris anda graphics design studio.