Sony PicturesClassics picked up North American rights to Kim Ki-Duk's 3 Iron this weekend as the Korean film grabbed a total of fourprizes in Venice including the best director and the FIPRESCI prize for bestfilm.

Cineclick, headed by Suh Young-joo,also closed deals in the UK with Optimum Releasing, Australia and New Zealandwith Hopscotch, Germany with Pandora, Italy with Mikado, France with PrettyPictures, Scandinavia with Triangel, Benelux with Bright Angel, Greece withProoptiki, Lev in Israel, Distribution Company in Argentina, Russia withInterCinema Art, Portugal with LNK, Spain with Alta Classic and Switzerlandwith Filmcoopi. Japan will be handled by co-producer Happinet.

"We are thrilled with the enthusiasmand understanding of the international distributors and across the board havebeen able to secure prices and conditions that are as good or better thanbefore," said Suh, who added that the buyers had generally benchmarked thepicture against the Kim's last but one film SpringSummer Fall, Winter' Spring, rather than Samarian Girl, his mostrecent film which appeared in competition in Berlin in February.

SPC previously handled Spring in North America andgrossed an impressive $2.3m on theatrical release.

"The only thing that reallysurprised us with the buyers' reaction was the speed with which everyone moved.We had many multi-offer territories, with Germany and the US the hottest bidbattles," said Suh. In Germany she is understood to have received offers fromthe four major indie distributors, while in the UK the number exceeded three.Territories remaining open include a few parts of Asia and Latin America, a situationreflecting the small number of South American buyers in Toronto.

The film's late entry into theVenice competition appeared to have helped its commercial prospects, despiteSuh's misgivings. "I was very nervous about its position as the surprise film.That meant I could not talk about it publicly beforehand. But in the end wewere able to apply all the bumpers that we had negotiated."