Renewing its relationship with Hong Kong director Johnnie To, PalmPictures has acquired North American and Caribbean rights to To's BreakingNews.

Palm plans a theatrical release sometime in 2005 followed by a DVDrelease on the Palm Pictures label later in the year.

Produced by Milkyway Image (HK) Ltd. and sold by Media Asia, theHong Kong action and crime drama made its world premiere at this year's CannesFilm Festival and also featured in this week's Toronto International FilmFestival.

Breaking News combines the structure of a gangster movie with the velocity andimmediacy of television news. Opening with a seven minute single take of ashootout, the film focuses on a showdown between cops and robbers that isplayed out on a tabloid news show.

When the embarrassing defeat of a police squad by five robbers isbroadcast, the police wage a war on the hideout of the robbers in front of the cameraswith thousands of cops besieging the location.

The deal was negotiated by David Koh, head of acquisitions &production for Palm along with Fred Tsui of Media Asia.

"We are big fans of Johnnie To's body of work and released FulltimeKiller and are releasingTo's PTU," commentedKoh. "We look forward to introducing the prolific filmmaker and his latest workto an even wider audience in North America."

Fred Tsui of Media Asia stated, "We always admire PalmPictures' excellent good taste and their expertise in distributing qualityAsian films."

To is the director of over 40 feature films including TheMission, Fulltime Killer, Running Out of Time, PTU, and Throw Down which is also screening at the TorontoFilm Festival, among many others.

Johnnie To's work is being showcased in a retrospective of RecentHong Kong Cinema next month at New York's Lincoln Center.