Singapore distributor Cathayhas acquired a record 40 titles at this year's Cannes Film Festival, includingDuncan Tucker's road movie Transamerica,Hans Canosa's drama Conversations withOther Women in split screen format and Pen-ek Ratanaruang's film noir Invisible Waves.

Cathay has also bought therights to Kim Ki Duk's The Bow andKim Yong-Gyun's The Red Shoes - bothscheduled for release in September, as well as pre-buying Don Argott'sdocumentary Rock School and FinnTaylor's Darwin Awards.

For the first time in threeyears, Cathay is ramping up its slate for Malaysia where it is due to open twonew multiplexes in the last quarter - a 10-screener (including an arthousecinema) in Damansara near the capital Kuala Lumpur and a three-screener in KotaKinabalu in East Malaysia.

With the new cinemas, Cathaywill restart its distributing activities in Malaysia which were stopped threeyears ago.

Although Singapore andMalaysia are neighbours, not all the acquired films are suitable for bothmarkets. 'Niche arthouse films like InvisibleWaves and Conversations with OtherWomen are strictly for Singapore. The Malaysia market is more conservative;actions and horrors are more suitable like TheRed Shoes and The Assassination ofRichard Nixon,' said acquisition manager Violet Kwan.

Cathay already runs 15screens at three sites in Malaysia through Mega Pavilion. The existing cinemaswill be rebranded to Cathay to be in line with the new cinemas adopting thesame brand.

In December, Cathay is alsoreopening its Cathay building in Singapore, a historic cinema which is beingconverted into an eight-screen multiplex.