UK distributor Optimum Releasing has acquired four films including Steve Buscemi's gritty prison drama Animal Factory, starring Edward Furlong and Willem Dafoe, and Oliver Stone's Fidel Castro documentary Comandante.
The distributor also picked up Brazil's Man Of The Year and Chinese festival favourite Blind Shaft from Grupo Novo de Cinema and The Film Library respectively. Both films will premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of Optimum's Discoveries programme, an annual showcase of six films from across the globe that the distributor runs with Edinburgh and BBC Television.
Optimum, which recently stepped up a gear when it boarded Shane Meadows' new film at financing stage, is restructuring so that managing director Will Clarke can explore new business opportunities. Marketing director Danny Perkins will now take the role of head of distribution, with publicity head Emma Pycroft and theatrical sales chief Nick McKay recently joining the company.
Titles on the company's 2003 slate include Spirited Away, Nowhere in Africa and Mostly Martha.