On the eve of the Berlin Market, Noi Albinoi, a film about an Icelandic boy who desperately needs to break out of his icy prison, is already the toast of critics and buyers. So too is its first time director, Dagur Kari.

It has been sold to France's Haut Et Court, Lucky Red for Italy, Film Museum for The Netherlands, Cinelibre for Belgium, Polyfilm for Austria and Xenix for Switzerland.

The film is sold and co-produced by Philippe Bober and Lene Ingemann's Franco-German production and sales house, the Co-Production Office.

Their sales strategy seems to be to take the film to other festivals first and to pitch up in Berlin - far away from competition - but with a raft of awards. Its first piece of silverware came from the Angers festival of first films, followed by the top prize for a Nordic film at last week's Gothenburg festival. And it just missed out on the Tiger competition prize at last week's Rotterdam festival, but scooped the audience award instead.

The tactic worked in the past: a couple of years ago, Suzhou River was the hot market title in Berlin, arriving kitted out with a Rotterdam Golden Tiger Award. It cleaned up in the Berlin market as a result.

The company, which last year relocated from Paris to Berlin and shifted the focus from sales to production (under the label of Société Française de Production) has a long history of success with edgy, not obviously commercial movies such as Dog Days, Songs From The Second Floor, and Japon. Its next offerings will include a re-working of Locarno prize-winner Pleasant Days.