Miramax Films has taken US rights to Toa Fraser' much feted comedy-drama Dean Spanley starring Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam and Peter O'Toole.

The UK/New Zealand coproduction, which screened at the Toronto, London and Pusan festivals last year, was produced by Matthew Metcalfe and Alan Harris, with David Parfitt, Finola Dwyer, Simon Fawcett and Sharp acting as executive producers. NZ Film is representing the film at the EFM.

The US deal on Dean Spanley follows on from news earlier this week that Transmission Films has acquired New Zealand rights to The Volcano (aka Tama), the second feature film from Eagle vs Shark writer/director Taika Waititi also sold by NZ Film.

The Volcano, presented in Rotterdam's CineMart last month, is a tragicomedy inspired by Taika's award-winning, Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars One Night, and is being produced by Cliff Curtis and Ainsley Gardiner.