Odeon Films, the Canadian specialised distribution arm of Alliance Atlantis, has picked up Canadian rights to Zacharias Kunuk's acclaimed Inuit film Atanarjuat - The Fast Runner, Canada's submission to the foreign language film Oscar category.

The film, an action thriller set in ancient Igloolik, won the Camera d'Or for best first feature at Cannes last year as well as best Canadian feature film at Toronto last year and further prizes at Edinburgh, Flanders and Montreal. It is also the most nominated picture at the upcoming Genie Awards.

The deal was negotiated by Patrice Theroux, president of Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution, with the film's producer Norman Cohn and Nick Stiliadis, CEO of Cinemavault Releasing which is handling international sales. Odeon plans to release the film across Canada in spring 2002.