Quinta Communications, the rights trading venture of Tarak Ben Ammar, has committed to provide half the $30m budget on IAC Film and Davis Panzer Productions' Midnight Return.

Quinta will arrange distribution of the follow-up to Midnight Express in France, Italy, Spain and the UK, as well as work with UK-based IAC on unsold territories including North America, Australasia and Scandinavia.

The project, on which IAC aims to secure US actor Edward Norton for the lead, is scheduled to start shooting in autumn in Tunisia. The film is being produced as part of a slate of pictures on which IAC and US production company Davis Panzer are partnered.

IAC's Guy Collins and Michael Ryan, Davis Panzer's Peter Davis and Ben Ammar closed the deal this week.

Collins said: "Together with existing pre-sales in several key territories - significantly Advanced Medien's previously announced distribution and equity commitment for German-speaking territories - the deal with Quinta provides us with a fully-financed film. We are now on the fast track to tie up creative and production elements in the film. Quinta will provide us with a strong financial partner and second to none production expertise for this film in Tunisia and I hope that this will the first of a number of collaborations between the two companies."