Worldwidedistribution, marketing and sales company Newmark/Echelon Entertainment Group has acquired North American rightsto the award-winning Chinese films For The Children and 25 Kids And One Dad.

YangYazhou's drama For The Children follows an inspiring teacher's impact on thelives of her students and colleagues in a small rural school.

Itwon multiple awards at the 2002 Golden Rooster Awards, China's highest filmhonours, including best film, best director, best actress (Ni Ping) and bestsupporting actress (Yuan Quan).

25Kids And One Dad won the Hundred Flowers audience award for best film at thesame ceremony.

Writtenand directed by its star Huang Hong, the comedy focuses on a newly prosperousfarmer who unexpectedly assumes responsibility for 25 orphans. Both titles willbe released in the autumn.

"Ouracquisition of these two prestigious titles demonstrates our commitment tofinding the finest films from world cinema to serve the growing specialiseddomestic market," the company's co-founder Daniel Fantz said in a statement.

"Wealso look forward to a continuing relationship with China's top productioncompanies and are proud of their confidence in our ability to market theirfilms."

Inaddition to its foreign-language releases, Newmark/Echelon Entertainment Groupwill be engaged in distributing mainstream independent American films forplatform and wide release. Several major acquisitions will be announcedshortly.

Newmark/EchelonEntertainment Group was formed earlier this year following a merger of mediaplacement agency Newmark Communications and production and foreign salescompany Echelon Entertainment.

Asidefrom Fantz, co-founders Philip Newmark heads the company's media division andEric Louzil heads the foreign sales operation.

ForThe Children was released in China under the title Pretty Big Feet and is aXi'an Film Studio, CTV-Media Studio Corp production.

25Kids And One Dad is a co-production by Shanxi Film Studio, Beijing OrientalCulture Communications, Movie Channel Program Center and China CharityFederation.

NorthAmerican rights to both films were acquired from Golden Ocean Entertainment, aLos Angeles and Beijing-based sales organisation.