UK-based sales outfit The Works has closed a slew of deals on its eagerly awaited comedy Bend It Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha, including a sale to Metropolitan Filmexport in France.

The film, which stars Parminder Nagra, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Shaznay Lewis and Juliet Stevenson in a story of an Indian girl with big dreams to play professional soccer, opens in the UK on April 12 on more than 200 screens through Helkon SK.

"I went to London to see the film, loved it and started negotiating on the spot," said Metropolitan's Samuel Hadida, who closed the deal at AFM. Other buyers of the film, which didn't screen at AFM, include Alta Films in Spain, New Lineo in Portugal, Ster-Kinekor in South Africa and United King in Israel.

Meanwhile The Works closed deals here on Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People with United King in Israel and Rosebud in Greece, on Ken Loach's latest film Sweet Sixteen with Prooptiki in Greece and Shani Film in Israel and on Loach's previous film The Navigators with Cinequanon in Japan and Niche in Australia.