UGC Films has picked up Francois Ozon's forthcoming Swimming Pool, marking its third buy since being formed earlier this year as the UK theatrical distribution arm of French exhibition giant UGC. International sales on the film are handled by Celluloid Dreams.

The film, a drama starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier, is the second Ozon title handled by UGC, which grabbed his ensemble piece 8 Femmes at Berlin in February. 8 Femmes is set for release in the UK in November and should benefit from screening at the London Film Festival and continued performance at the German box office, where it has attracted million spectators. In France 8 Femmes clocked 3.7 million admissions.

"Swimming Pool is a sexy, Chabrolian thriller with excellent commercial potential; intellectual, but funny and accessible. We are delighted that UGC has come back for another of Francois' films. It provides us with continuity and thanks to UGC's French sensibility, they will do a terrific job in a territory that is one of the hardest in the world for auteur pictures," said Celluloid chief Hengameh Panahi. The English-language film is the story of a middle-aged woman novelist (Rampling) who, frustrated by her London life, takes a prolonged break in the South of France. There she is bewitched by a young woman (Sagnier) who claims to be the daughter of her publisher.

It is a co-production by Ozon's regular production house Fidelite Productions and British producer Timothy Burrill's Headforce. Burrill recently co-produced another Franco-UK picture Palme d'Or winner The Pianist. Delivery is currently expected in January 2003.

In addition to the UGC deal, Celluloid used Venice to complete deals with Bim for Italy and Imovision for Brazil.

The film was previously sold to Gaga for Japan, Taewon for Korea, Film Copie for Switzerland, Polyfilm for Austria, Rosebud for Greece, Cinemien for Benelux, United King for Israel, Artdo for the Baltic states, Seville for Canada and Cinemafilm for Argentina.

In Venice Celluloid, also closed deals for Takeshi Kitano's competition film Dolls with Maywin Media for Russia, Artdo for the Baltic states, Cineplex for Columbia Seville for Canada and Imovision for Brazil.

Celluloid previously sold Dolls to Mikado for Italy, Cinelibre for Benelux, Frenetic for Switzerland, DEA Planeta for Spain, Atalanta for Portugal and Prooptiki for Greece. Kitano's own Office Kitano is handling sales within Asia.