Summit Entertainment has signed a multi-territory, all rights agreement with Canada's brand new Entertainment One (E1) whereby E1 will handle Summit titles in Canada through E1 subsidiary Seville Entertainment and in the UK through subsidiary Contender Films. The deal will run through 2010.

The announcement was made yesterday by Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman (pictured left) and Patrick Wachsberger (centre) and E1 CEO Darren Throop and president of filmed entertainment Patrice Theroux(right).

In Canada, the deal covers films produced by Summit and those to which Summit controls North American rights. The first production to fall under the arrangement will be thriller P2 which is scheduled for a Nov 9 release.

In the UK, Contender will handle Summit productions along with those films for which Summit acquires the UK rights. Summit International will continue to sell the rights to third-party films to all UK distributors.

The Summit deal gives E1 a feather in its cap in the increasingly competitive Canadian market which until recently was dominated by Alliance Atlantis but has now been opened up to include E1/Seville, Robert Lantos' Maximum and Alliance, now called just that and run by Victor Loewy.

The deal gives Summit entry into Canada, while bolstering E1's Contender Entertainment Group in the UK.

'We could not ask for a better partner to represent our productions in both Canada and the UK,' said Friedman and Wachsberger in a joint statement. 'The combination of Entertainment One's public backing and their commitment to the Canadian and UK marketplaces, allows Summit the best opportunity to have our films succeed and reach the broadest possible audiences both in the theatrical and home entertainment marketplaces.'

'Everyone wanted the Summit slate in Canada and in the UK and I am honored that they have put their faith in Entertainment One,' added Theroux.

The deal was negotiated by Summit Chief Operating Officer Bob Hayward with Theroux and Throop.

Entertainment One has ambitions to be a global player, and owns Seville in Canada, Contender in the UK and independent record label Koch Entertainment in the US.