Columbia Pictures has signeda deal with producer Frank Mancuso Jr (pictured) and entrepreneur Tom Gores' 360 Picturesto acquire and distribute 360 films for the domestic theatrical anddirect-to-home entertainment markets.

Sony Pictures will secureNorth American theatrical and home entertainment rights to all 360 Picturesprojects it acquires, starting with the coming-of-age drama Crossover.

The picture follows thedivergent fates of two talented basketball players and stars Anthony Mackie andWesley Jonathan. Preston A Whitmore II wrote and directed and Sony's TriStarlabel is set to release in theatres on Aug 25.

"Frank and Tom have aterrific business model for 360 Pictures and they understand the niche marketand its upside potential," Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group chairmanof worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake and president of ColumbiaTriStar Home Entertainment Ben Feingold said.

"This deal puts us inbusiness with experienced and respected partners who will deliver theatricalreleases for a targeted market as well as original material specifically forthe home entertainment arena."

"Often one must choosebetween personal preference and business opportunity," Mancuso Jr added."No such choice was necessary here. Joining 360 Pictures with Sony Picturesis the ideal situation. No other major distributor has integrated nicheproducts into its line up more successfully than Sony."

Mancuso Jr's producingcredits include Internal Affairs, Ronin, Species, and Stigmata.

Gores has provided financialbacking to several film ventures, including 360 Pictures and Crescent DriveEntertainment, which financed Andy Garcia's upcoming film The Lost City.

He is founder, chairman andchief executive officer of Los Angeles-based global buyout firm PlatinumEquity.