Private, the film by Saviero Costanza that shines anunusually humanist light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been a hitwith buyers and a glittering start for Scalpel, the new sales company launchedat Toronto by Pierre Menahem.

"After thefirst industry screening we had great feedback, especially from Latin America.In some territories we had bid battles with company offers exceeding the askingprice," said Menahem. He has now closed deals with Distribution Company inArgentina, Gussi in Mexico and Europa Filmes for Brazil. Prior to its Locarnoworld premiere Swiss rights were licensed to Frenetic Films and, in a dealarranged by the Italian producer, Italian rights were sold to Istituto Luce.

Menahem hasoffers on the table from the US, UK, France, Benelux and Scandinavia and stronginterest from Canada and Germany. "I expect to close all major Europeanterritories in Toronto, though whether we sell US here depends on is festivalcareer. Many festival have already shown interest," said Menahem.

"I've beenvery impressed by the audiences here. They have viewed it as a solid thrillerwith a strong political statement, not just another Israel-Palestinian conflictmovie," said Menahem in Toronto.