Verve Films have acquired UK theatrical rights to Gabriel Films' Afterlife, the winner of the Standard Life Audience Award at the 2003 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Written by Andrea Gibb and directed by Alison Peebles, the low-budget digital feature is the first title created under the New Found Films scheme financed by Scottish Screen, Scottish Television and Grampian Television and was one of the stand out titles at Edinburgh this year.

" We read the film at script stage and loved it, " reveals Giorgia Lo Savio of Verve. "When we saw the finished film, it was warm, funny and very moving. The Edinburgh prize was really just a confirmation of what we felt already. Its a small film that will require time and attention but Verve only plan to release 8 or 10 films a year and we really want to feel passionate about each of them."

Kevin McKidd stars in Afterlife as a high-flying journalist forced to reassess his life when his terminally ill mother pushes him towards accepting responsibility for his sister who has Down's Syndrome.

Lindsay Duncan, Shirley Henderson and Down's Syndrome actress Paula Sage co-star. The Works are handling international sales.

Verve have also acquired Karl Golden's micro-budget debut feature The Honeymooners. Both films screen in this month's London Film Festival and Afterlife will be released in the UK during the Spring of 2004.

Gabriel Films is currently developing the low-budget horror film Wild Country which is expected to shoot over the winter. Peter Capaldi and Martin Compston are set to star for writer-director Craig Strachan.