EXCLUSIVE: Artsploitation Films has acquired North American and UK theatrical, TV, VoD, Digital and DVD rights to the Spanish fantasy drama Animals.

Negotiations began at the Ventana Sur market in Buenos Aires in November and was finalised at the EFM in Berlin.

“Animals is an intoxicating blend of genre and a coming-of-age film,” said Artsploitation president Ray Murray.

“It explores that exciting but troubling moment when sexuality enters into a youth’s world.”

The film marks director Marçal Forés’ first feature and stars The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman in a supporting role.

The story follows a seemingly normal high school student who secretly shares his life with a sentient teddy bear and whose life is transformed by the arrival of a new boy at school.

Murray negotiated the deal with Barcelona-based Film Factory Entertainment’s managing director Vicente Canales.

The film screened at Sitges among others and Artsploitation plans additional festival runs for Animals this summer and autumn.

It anticipates a fourth quarter theatrical release.