On the eve of Sundance, new Paris sales companyScalpel Films has sold a trio of pictures to the US.

Launched in 2004 byformer Celluloid Dreams executive Pierre Menahem, Scalpel had success with Private,the hard-hitting Palestine-set drama by Saverio Costanzo, selling it to AvatarFilms. The film, which premiered in Locarno and screened in Toronto, has nowbeen sold to 22 countries.

Menahem also sold Thirst (Atash), whichgarnered a large haul of prizes in Cannes' Critics Week last year, to the US'Global Film Initiative, which will give it a theatrical release through FirstRun Features. The picture, directed by Tawfik Abu Wael, was also sold to theUK's Axiom Films.

In a separate move The Sundance Channel pickedup Maria Victoria Menis' Little Sky (El Cielito), an Argentiniandrama about childhood that won four prizes in San Sebastian.