Tribal Films, a new US-Irish specialist distributor of art house and indie titles was launched by former Shooting Gallery exec Will Silke at the Galway Film Fleadh last week.

Its first acquisition for the territory, the dialogue free Hungarian film Hukkle, was shown at the festival on Thursday. Hukkle is due to be distributed from January 2004, and the company aims to have a further ten titles by the end of the year.

The company aims to acquire all rights and distribute independent and specialist films directly for the Irish market, usually sold as part of UK distribution deals.

Tribal also intends to bring Irish film across the Atlantic under its US sales arm.

"The way we look at it," said Silke, "we're Irish - who better to service the Irish indie/art-house market than us. UK distributors who have generally distributed in Ireland as part of their deals are great for the UK, but they just don't work for Ireland. They're not in touch with the cultural psyche here they way we are. They just don't know the market demographics the way we do."

Silke has previously worked for Miramax Films business and legal affairs as well as the Shooting Gallery in New York, and worked on the Oscar campaign for Offfline Releasing's The Taste of Others (Le Gout Des Autres) in 2000.

Tribal's Dublin office is run by Stuart Little who was previously head of marketing and distribution for Cosmic Sounds in Ireland.