Turkey's Horizon has picked up Leif Bristow's family film Sophie which begins shooting in Canada this week with Brittany Bristow, John Rhys-Davies, Augustus Prew and German actor Thure Riefenstein in the cast.

Describing the deal with Horizon as 'the fastest in my career', Philipp Menz, of the film's sales agent Atlas International Film, said that the story isabout a friendship between a 16-year-old girl and a five-ton elephant in the spirit of Free Willy and is scheduled to have its world premiere at Toronto in September.

The Canadian-Belgian co-production between Knightscove Media Corp. and Marmount Productions has also attracted Germany's EVA Finance as an investor on the project which is budgeted under $10m.