Focus Features has picked up North American rights to GabyDellal's feelgood drama and Sundance World Dramatic Competition premiere OnA Clear Day, starring Peter Mullan and Brenda Blethyn.

The company's acquisition executives pounced after five screenings of thetitle, which centres on a down-at-heel unemployed man's attempt to claw backsome self-confidence by swimming the English Channel.

Focus negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media and Icon EntertainmentInternational on behalf of the filmmakers. Icon Film Distribution will releasein the UK and Australia.

Alex Rose wrote the screenplay and Sarah Curtis and Dorothy Berwin produced,with Bill Allan, Steve Christian, Lenny Crooks, Emma Hayter, and Nick Hill andAndy Mayson serving as executive producers.

The Forthcoming/InFilm/Take Partnership production was put together inassociation with Baker Street, Glasgow Film Finance Ltd and Scottish Screen,and produced in association with Isle of Man Films.

"Gaby is a very exciting new voice in filmmaking and she's crafted a beautifulfilm that is also a terrific and rousing crowd-pleaser," Focus co-presidentsDavid Linde and James Schamus said in a statement.

"We are thrilled that On A Clear Day has come to Sundance and been sowell-received," Icon UK Group chief executive officer Nick Hill said. "I amdelighted that Focus Features will be releasing the film in North America, andI know that Gaby will be in very safe hands."

As Sundance approached the final furlong, interest was heating up on a raft oftitles including Rupert Murray's World Documentary Competition entry UnknownWhite Male, Ira Sachs' Forty Shades Of Blue, and Rian Johnson'sLynchian slice of high school noir, Brick.

Also making waves were Scott Coffey's Ellie Parker, Tim Kirkman's Loggerheads,Noah Baumbach's The Squid And The Whale and Craig Lucas' The DyingGaul - which all play in the American Dramatic Competition programme - aswell as Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt's sexual abstinence AmericanDocumentary Competition entry The Education Of Shelby Knox.