Strand Releasinghas picked up North American rights from Fortissimo Films to Eddy Terstall's Simon, the story of a gay man and a straightman whose lifelong friendship is challenged when one of them faces a terminalillness.

The picture,which received its North American premiere at Tribeca last week, was theofficial Dutch entry for the 2005 Academy Awards and won top honours at theDutch Film Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. CeesGeel, who was named best actor at Tribeca, and Marcel Hensema star.

Marcus Hu andJon Gerrans of Strand negotiated the deal with Wouter Barendrecht of FortissimoFilms.

The companieshave collaborated before, notably on Iron Ladies and Iron Ladies II, Formula 17, and For A Lost Soldier, and recently partnered on therestoration of such titles as Tom Kalin's Swoon and Gregg Araki's Totally F**ked Up.

Strand's recentreleases include Fatih Akin's Head-On, Matteo Garrone's Primo Amore and the upcoming titles, ApichatpongWeerasethakul's Tropical Malady and Jun Ichikawa's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's TonyTakitani.