In Marion Pilowsky's first move as head of international acquisitions and development at United International Pictures (UIP), the distribution powerhouse and UK and Australian-based production company Axiom are partnering to release a slate of indie pictures in the UK.

The partners will initially release four titles over two to three years. Axiom aims to release the first early next year.

The pact comes as UIP faces European Union pressure to raise local activities. Although it is unclear whether UIP is making a p&a commitment, the Axiom deal is thought to involve more than just selling on UIP's part.

Axiom founder Douglas Cummins, who previously ran Pinnacle Pictures, prizes the move as a "logical extension of our long-term objective to secure as many of the underlying rights in the projects in which we are involved as possible".

Axiom is currently producing British thriller Joe Hipp Is Dead, Simon Brook's Lawyers In Love; and Differences Alike. In pre-production are David Caesar's Mullet and Robert Connolly's The Bank.

"Axiom's unique slate and Douglas Cummins' exceptional marketing background is an exciting combination," said UIP's Andrew Cripps. "We hope to be able to exploit each other's skills and resources to the fullest with mutually beneficial results."