One year after The Brown Bunny stamped its indelible markon Cannes, Vincent Gallo's controversial picture has found a partner inWellspring.

The US distributor picked up all North American rights and plansan Aug 27 release in New York and Los Angeles followed by a nationwide rollout.DVD and video are scheduled for release in spring 2005.

Marie Therese Guirgis, Wellspring's head of acquisitions, and RyanWerner, Wellspring's head of theatrical distribution, negotiated the deal withGallo on behalf of Kinetique.

The Brown Bunny stars Gallo as a lovelorn motorbikeracer en route to California who pines for the love of his life played by ChloeSevigny.

Gallo wrote and directed the piece and performed all the key crewfunctions himself.

A scene in which Sevigny performs fellatio on Gallo captured theimagination of the press corps at last year's festival, where audiences watchedan incomplete video version blown up to 35mm.

The oral gratification sequence contributed to a vortex ofcontroversy that saw the self-styled auteur engage in an ugly spat with criticRoger Ebert, only to later bemoan the fact that nobody understood his pictureand brand it "a disaster of a film."

A proper print premiered at Toronto last year to the delight ofaudiences and The Brown Bunny went on to claim the FIPRESCI prize at theViennale.

"Vincent Gallo has made a hauntingly beautiful film with one ofthe frankest portrayals of sex that I have ever seen in the cinema and a trulymagnificent and fearless performance by the most interesting actress inAmerican Cinema - Chloe Sevigny," Werner said in a statement.

"Like all great art, we expect it to be hotly debated anddiscussed for many years to come."

Wellspring screened Jonathan Caouette's acclaimed Tarnationin the Director's Fortnight last weekend and its slate of releases includesAndre Techine's Strayed, Jean-François Pouliot's Seducing DoctorLewis and Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms.