Warner Bros Pictures hasacquired the Italian distribution rights to Rue Des Plaisirs (Love Streets), the new Patrice Leconte feature film that stars French former modelLaetitia Casta. The pick-up is part of a concerted push by Warner into Europeanproduction and distribution.

Set in Paris in 1945, RueDes Plaisirs is described as thestory of a young woman (Casta) who is displaced when town locals close down thebrothel where she works. The brothel's handyman (Patrick Timsit), while deeplyin love with the woman, realizes that she'll never be his, so he sets out tofind her the perfect man. Vincent Elbaz plays the woman's potential paramour.

Simona Benzakein, vicepresident, European Productions for Warner Bros Pictures, yesterdaycharacterized Leconte as "one of the most respected talents working inFrench cinema today" having directed more than twenty movies in the lastthree decades, among them Felix Et Lola, La Veuve De Saint Pierre(The Widow of St. Pierre), LaFille Sur Le Pont (The Girl onthe Bridge) and the Oscar-nominated Ridicule.

"We believe this film will work well beyond its countryof origin," added Benzakein, referring to Rue Des Plaisirs.

Warner's licensingdeal follows a number of recent production and acquisition activities by thesame studio across Europe, including a long-term, multifaceted production anddistribution deal with X-Filme in Germany, as well involvement in both theFrench box office smash La Verite Si Je Mens! 2 and Le Boulet, a French-language co-production with La Petite Reine.

Benzakein recentlynegotiated the pick-up of Spanish, Latin American and Japanese rights to thisyear Cannes Film Festival winner The Son's Room (La Stanza Del Figlio) by Nanni Moretti.

Earlier this year, Benzakeinindicated that Warner is currently completing "business productionplans" for Italy and Spain which will see the company co-produce anunspecified number of films per year with local production partners and localtalent. The films will be made on "European budgets."