Brazilian home video distributor Imagem Filmes is venturing into the local theatrical distribution arena.

The Sao Paolo-based company will continue to distribute home video product for Lumiere EBA, which has an output deal with Miramax.

In recent years, Imagem has been acquiring all rights to a slew of high profile films, amassing up to 22 titles for theatrical release.

Imagem will also distribute its first foray into film production, As Alegres Comadres, a comedy by first-time director Leila Hipolito which is currently in post production.

Imagem kicks off theatrical operations this month with The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson. Director General Marcio Fraccaroli recently hired Jaime Tavares to head commercial operations. Tavares intends to divide his responsibilities at Paris Filmes with his new position at Imagem.

Other upcoming titles include Neil Jordan's The Good Thief, Rob Reiner's Alex & Emma, Isabel Coixet's My Life Without Me, Niki Caro's Whale Riders, Stacy Peraltas skateboarding docu Dogtown And Z Boys, Iranian drama Baran by Majid Majidi, Spanish musical hit El Otro Lado De la Cama and Steven Shainberg's Secretary.