New London-based distribution outfit Soda Pictures is to launch with Dai Sijie's Golden Globe-nominated Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress, which it has picked up for release in the UK and Eire in early May.

The film, based on the novel of the same name written by the director, follows two boys through their experience in a re-education camp in China's Sichuan Province and their love affair with books, music and the local tailor's grand-daughter - the little Chinese seamstress.

Soda Pictures is headed by Edward Fletcher, formerly distribution manager at ICA Projects, and Eve Gabereau who has 10 years experience in international project management including film festivals, programming, production and new media.

'Balzac is the perfect film for us to launch with because it sets the tone for what Soda Pictures is all about," says Gabereau. "It is accessible and beautiful, and uses culture, history and lush imagery to make the most of celluloid.'