Madrid-based newcomer Alquimia Cinema has picked up all Spanish rights on five films from Canada's Alliance Atlantis Pictures International, including Berlin Panorama entry Maelstrom from French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve.

The deal - brokered by Alquimia chief Francisco Ramos and Alliance Atlantis Pictures International president Mark Horowitz - could lead to further distribution and production partnerships.

The other titles picked up by Alquimia include: Denys Arcand's Stardom, which closed Cannes last year; Billy Crudup-starrer Jesus' Son; Shane Meadows' A Room For Romeo Brass; and Dewey Nicks' much-anticipated Slackers.

Ramos is in talks with Columbia TriStar Spain to handle physical distribution on Slackers, and with local distributor Vertigo for the remaining Alliance titles. Alquimia will manage marketing and promotion in-house.

"I am very appreciative of Alliance's support at this early stage," stressed Ramos, who left his post as general manager of high-flying producer-distributor Aurum Producciones last September to launch indie outfit Alquimia. Aside from distribution, Ramos has a full production slate in the works as well.

Alliance signed an output deal last June with Spanish TV network Telecinco for genre titles from its Le Monde Entertainment division.