Stewart Till's Signpost Films has formed its first long-term production deal in the UK, striking a first-look pact with Cougar Films, the fledgling film production outfit of leading UK TV producers Sophie Balhetchet and Lynda La Plante.

The first project to be developed under the deal is Click, a romantic comedy written and to be directed by Ol Parker. Thandie Newton will star, with shooting scheduled for the autumn in London.

"This deal enables us to develop genre-based films with British talent aimed firmly at the international market," Balhetchet said.

Balhetchet's credits as executive producer include UltraViolet, Ballykissangel, and controversial drama Men Only, while her producing CV includes The Manageress. La Plante's screenwriting credits include Prime Suspect, Widows and Civvies. She also co-produced Widows and produced Cold Shoulder as a pilot for New Regency/CBS and The Warden for TNT.

"I am currently writing an original high-concept thriller with a huge role for a leading actress and it will be one of the first projects we develop with Signpost," said La Plante.

Signpost is a worldwide film production, sales and distribution company formed by Till, Canada's CDP Capital Communications and the Mosaic Media Group. The company's first two films are Bulletproof Monk, currently in post-production, and House Of Sand And Fog, which is scheduled to start shooting in October.