Panorama Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to the Slamdance Narrative Feature Competition entry The Ante.

Max Perrier directed and Peter Proffit produced the dark comedy about an innocent encounter that escalates into a nightmare game of cat-and-mouse.

A festival run is planned, followed by a platform theatrical release in late spring.

Panorama president Stuart Strutin said: 'We are thrilled to acquire Max's film. It is a compelling story of retribution and revenge that escalates from a small encounter to multiple murders, with a unique and personal style. It is frightening, yet funny at the same time.'

Valerie Gagnon, executive producer at Peter Proffit Pictures, said 'Panorama's custom-made, select, approach to its films made it a perfect match for The Ante. The picture is one-of-a-kind, a dark comedy with offbeat overtones of horror, film noir and western genres; hard to confine into a box.

'Panorama's track record on grass-roots marketing and ability to manage surgical theatrical showcases are exactly the kind of workmanship The Ante needs to reach the wider audience.'