Newmarket Films has snappedup US rights to Death Of A President as a flurry of territory deals collectively worth $3m closed on the George W Bush assassination drama last night [11].

Gabriel Range's hotly anticipated picture sold within 24 hours of its Sundayworld premiere, with rights also going to Maple Pictures in Canada and theIndie Circle cooperative in five European territories.

Death Of A President will go outin spring 2007 through A-Film in The Netherlands, Lucky Red in Italy, Haut EtCourt in France, Frenetic Films in Switzerland, and Cineart in Belgium andLuxembourg. Newmarket is yet to announce a release slot, although observershave speculated it could be as early as this autumn.

Range's hypothetical story is styled as a retrospective documentary and focuseson the hunt for the President's killer, fusing archival footage with fictionalelements.

"I, like everyone else, came with a preconceived notion of what this filmwould be about and was shocked to discover that Death Of A President is first and foremost a riveting and commercialpolitical thriller that in no way sensationalises anything or advocatesviolence," Newmarket co-founder Chris Ball said.

"One of the key themes of the film is the media's rush to judgment andironically, when we announced the actual title of the film there was animmediate rush to judgment," Range said.

"I am really pleased that people have now seen that this film clearly does notadvocate assassination; in fact it makes a strong statement against thepernicious effects of violence.

"I am thrilled that Newmarket, the company who released Passion Of TheChrist, has embraced the film sofully and is committed to letting American audiences judge it for themselves."

Range co-wrote Death Of A Presidentwith Simon Finch and produced with his Borough Films partners Finch and EdGuiney. Robin Gutch served as executive producer and the film was financed byFilm Four/Channel 4.

A spokesman for Indie Circle said the company was attracted by the filmicquality of the piece, as well as its controversial nature.

The cooperative picked up last year's Toronto hit Thank You For Smoking at script stage, and has previously released ParadiseNow, Osama, Take My Eyes and Opal Dream.