Australia's Transmission Films has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to Ruba Nadda's romantic drama Cairo Time from E1's sales company Maximum International.

Produced by Daniel Iron of Toronto's Foundry Films (Away From Her) and David Collins of Dublin's Samson Films (Once), the Canada-Ireland coproduction stars Patricia Clarkson as a diplomat's wife who finds herself engaged in a brief and unexpected love affair with a local, played by Alexander Siddiq (Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven).

Co-stars include Spanish actress Elena Anaya (Savage Grace, Sex and Lucia) and Canadian veteran Tom McCamus (Shake Hands With The Devil, The Sweet Hereafter). Killer Films' Christine Vachon and Charles Pugliese are executive producers.

Transmission, launched in January of this year, is headed up by former Dendy Films executives Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie. The deal was brokered by Mackie and Maximum's executive vice-president Charlotte Mickie. Writer-director Nadda's previous film was the well-received Sabah.

'We saw footage during the Toronto Film Festival and we were very impressed,' said Mackie, in a statement. 'It's simply gorgeous and Patricia and Alexander have real magic together. We haven't seen a real on-screen romance like this in some time.' Mickie and producer Irons both expressed confidence in Transmission's market savvy.

In launching Transmission, Mackie and Payten signed a three-year joint venture with Paramount Australia that will see as many as ten Transmission films released through the studio's Australia and NZ arm.