Sony PicturesClassics (SPC) has acquired North American rights to Pedro Almodovar'snext film Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) in a deal struck with the film's sales agent, Good MachineInternational.

This is thefourth Almodovar film to be released in the US by the SPC managementtrio of Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom. Previously this triumviratehad handled The Flower Of My Secret, the Academy Award-winning All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) and, during their time at OrionClassics, his international breakthrough film Women On The Verge Of aNervous Breakdown.

The deal also marks another SPC purchase from GMI after the domestic acquisitions of both AngLee's Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Good Machine-produced The Tao Of Steve.

An El Deseo production, Hable Con Ella is described as a story about the friendship of two men, about loneliness and the long convalescence of the wounds provoked by passion. It is also said to be a film about the lack of communication among couples...and about madness,about a type of madness so close to tenderness and common sense that it does not diverge from normality.

GMI - which will not be attending this year's MIFED market despite having already paid for a stand in the Fiera complex - is handling worldwide sales on Hable Con Ella, outside of France, UK and Benelux,which El Deseo licensed directly to Pathe.

Hable Con Ella represents thesecond film GMI has sold in which El Deseo participated, having previously beenretained by Anhelo Producciones to sell the Latin American rights to GuillermoDel Toro's El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone), which El Deseo co-produced with Tequila Gang an in associationwith Anhelo and Sogepaq.

"PedroAlmodovar is one of the world's finest directors. To serve him and hisfilm is not only a pleasure, but a privilege," commented the SPC trioafter announcing the deal. For his part, GMI president David Linde said:"It's great to be part of such a successful relationship as the onebetween the Almodovars and SPC."

The deal was negotiated between Linde and Barker, with Diane Buck (vice president of SPC),Diana Victor (Good Machine's v.p. of business affairs) and Iddo Arad (GMI'smanager of contracts).