Arkles Entertainment has acquired New Zealand distributionrights for director Geoff Murphy's local conspiracy thriller Spooked.

Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider) plays the lead role of ajournalist who becomes obsessive about investigating a mysterious fatal carcrash on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The starting point for Murphy's scriptwas the true events depicted in Ian Wishart's book The Paradise Conspiracy.The film suggests that 'Big Brother' in the 21st century is verydifferent from that conceived by George Orwell: it is major corporations ratherthan governments.

Don Reynolds, Merata Mita, Geoff Dixon and Geoff Murphy forSilverscreen Films/Ora Digital produced the film in association with the NewZealand Film Commission (NZFC), Capital Pictures and New Zealand On Air. Theexecutive producers are Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin from Capital Pictures. NZFilm is handling sales.

Arkles has released many local films since it wasestablished in 2000, including Kids World, Kombi Nation, Nemesis Gameand For Good.

Murphy made several films in New Zealand before heading forHollywood. One of these, Goodbye Pork Pie (1980), remains in the top tenlocal hit list. Spooked is his first film back home for many years.

'Spooked is the most entertaining thriller I've seen inmany years,' said Arkles chief executive John Davies. 'It combines adark mystery, high action and a uniquely Kiwi story that will get peoplethinking. It's great entertainment and will be huge fun to release. After allit's not every day you get to work with Kiwi film icons and one of the greatestensemble Kiwi cast ever assembled.'

The film has a range of cameo appearances by famous NewZealand actors and film-makers, including :Ian Mune, VincentWard, Geoff Murphy and Merata Mita.