Optimum has taken UK rights to Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science, which won the Directing Award - Dramatic at Sundance 2007.

Charles Schreger, president of programming sales for HBO Enterprises, struck the deal for the HBO Films project with Optimum's managing director Will Clarke.

Spellbound director Blitz makes his fictional debut with the story of an awkward teenager who tries to win the heart of the high-school debate-team captain.

'It's just a film that has a real kind of emotional kick but it's also hilariously funny,' Clarke told Screen International. 'It's like a Rushmore or Election; it could have a similar kind of impact in the UK as those films did. Everyone at Sundance was talking about this film. We feel like we've got a breakout hit on our hands.'

He said Optimum would release in August with 'a big push'.

Effie T Brown and Sean Welch produced the film. Picturehouse will distribute it in the US.