Picturehouse Entertainment, the new distribution arm of City Screen, has taken UK theatrical and DVD rights to Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Picturehouse will release the 3D documentary across the UK and Ireland on March 25, 2011. More4 has UK TV rights.

Picturehouse only recently started acquiring films for distribution, starting with the November launch of Jean Becker’s My Afternoons with Margueritte, which has earned more than £200,000 since its limited release on Nov 12. The company is expected to acquire more titles moving ahead.

Clare Binns, Director of Programming, said in a statement: “We are very excited to be distributing this extraordinarily original film which we feel will truly resonate with cinema audiences up and down the country. At Picturehouse we take great pride in a close relationship with our members and customers, and we are now actively seeking out films which we feel can entertain and inspire them.”

The film, a hit in Toronto, sees Herzog get exclusive access to the Chauvet cave paintings in France, which date back 32,000 years. He uses 3D to bring the caves and art to life, as Herzog muses on man’s progress through the ages.

The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc’s paintings, the earliest known cave paintings, were discovered in 1994. Becaues the paintings could be damaged by light and human contact, only a few researchers have seen the paintings in person. Herzog got permission to shoot there to use a special walkway and special cameras with battery-powered lights that did not emit heat. The film shot in March and April 2010.

Herzog worked with his longtime DoP Peter Zeitlinger to rig the special 3D cameras. Erik Nelson and Adrienne Ciuffo of Creative Differences produced, after also working on Herzog’s Encounters At The End of The World and Grizzly Man.

Other partners on the film are History Films, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Department of Cultural Heritage, Arte France and More4.

Co Producers are Amy Briamonte, Phil Fairclough, Judith Thurman and Nicolas Zunino; executive producers are Dave Harding, Julian P. Hobbs, David McKillop and Molly Thompson.

City Screen operates independent cinema chain Picturehouse Cinema, with 19 locations, as well as programming for a further 36 independent venues.

Submarine Entertainment is handling international sales, and the project sold in Toronto to IFC Films for the US.