US-based Wellspring Media has acquired all US rights toAndre Techine's Strayed (LesEgares), which premiered in competition atCannes earlier this year. The company plans a summer 2004 US release followedby DVD and video roll-out.

Based on GillesPerrault's best-selling novel, Strayed stars Emmanuelle Beart as a widowed schoolteacher who fleesParis as the Nazis close in on the city and sets up house in an abandoned villain the Loire Valley.

Wellspring's head of acquisitions Marie Therese Guirgisnegotiated the deal with Carole Baraton of Wild Bunch in Paris.

"Strayed manages tobe lyrically beautiful, emotionally intelligent and startlingly erotic all atthe same time," Guirgis said in a statement. "We think Techine's filmrepresents French cinema at its best."

Techine'scredits include Child Of The Night and Rendez-Vous. Beart's acting credits include 8 Women, Les DestineesSentimentales and Nelly& Monsieur Arnaud.