London-based financing andsales outfit Renaissance Films has acquired worldwide sales rights from theUK's Academy Features to Poppy And Dingan, the third film by British director Peter Cattaneo after The FullMonty and Lucky Break.

Renaissance will bepre-selling the film at next week's AFM. Casting is now underway, withprincipal photography set to start in July in Australia.

A rites-of-passage story setin the Australian outback, Poppy And Dingan is based on a novella by Ben Rice, who has written thescreenplay with Cattaneo and Phil Trail.

The story is told throughthe eyes of an 11 year-old boy called Ashmol. It follows the hunt for hislittle sister's two imaginary friends, who, she says, have gone missing. "It'sabout the redemption of a family and a community through two children's beliefin the unseen," said Cattaneo in a statement. "Poppy And Dingan will be a funny, uplifting and touching film a balance of grittinessand humour, magic and reality."

"We are delighted to beworking with Peter Cattaneo and Academy on a film which has such worldwideappeal," added Renaissance managing director Angus Finney.

Finney will be executiveproducer on the film, while Academy co-owners Lizie Gower and Nick Morris arethe producers.

Cattaneo won a best directornomination in 1998 for his 1997 hit The Full Monty which grossed over $250m worldwide and, incost-to-revenues ratio, is one of the most profitable films of all time. His2001 follow-up, Lucky Break, wasless successful.

Poppy And Dingan is the second film from Academy Features, the filmarm of Academy Productions, the UK commercials and music video productioncompany co-owned by Gower, Nick Morris and Jonathan Glazer. The company's firstfilm was Glazer's Birth starringNicole Kidman which is scheduled for release later this year through FineLine/New Line.

Renaissance recently soldits adultery drama We Don't Live Here Anymore to Warner Independent Pictures for North America andthe UK and is also developing pictures from Terry Gilliam (Good Omens) and Neil LaBute (Vapor).