Russian group Premiere Kino Holding has secured a clutch of A-grade all rights deals which bolster the company's position as a powerhouse distributor and underline the country's recovering potential as a film market.

Through its sister company Era Media, which has all Eastern European rights, Premiere Kino is finalising the acquisition of the Franchise Pictures slate which includes titles such as Sean Penn's Cannes competition film The Pledge and Renny Harlin's Driven. Premiere which has rights throughout Russia and the former CIS will handle theatrical distribution through its Cosmopol subsidiary and home entertainment through Premiere Multi Media.

From the UK's Capitol Films, Premiere bought six titles: Cannes out of competition film CQ, Sandra Goldbacher's Me Without You, Robert Altman's Gosford Park, horror flick Jeepers Creepers, Pumpkin and Matt Dillon's City Of Ghosts.

Premiere Multimedia this week also renewed its home entertainment distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures for another two years and will begin releasing titles on DVD for the first time in the autumn. Premiere Multi Media also handles home entertainment releasing for Universal Pictures and Dreamworks SKG.

Moscow festival representative Bob van Ronkel has received written expressions of interest from Jack Nicholson and Sean Penn confirming interest in travelling to the Moscow Film Festival in support of The Pledge. 'It is enormously gratifying that top-level talent like this is willing to promote our product in Russia,' said Chris Abel-Smith, Premiere executive director.

Premiere, which has also secured Peruvian comedy Captain Pantoja And The Special Services from Menemsha Entertainment, this week bolstered its acquisitions team hiring Victoria Kopelovitch as its Los Angeles consultant.