IFC Films, the theatrical distribution arm of Independent Film Channel, has acquired North American distribution rights to Y Tu Mama Tambien, the erotic Spanish-language Mexican film from director Alfonso Cuaron which last week opened in Mexico to the biggest three day opening of a Mexican film in history.

Y Tu Mama is the first Mexican film to be directed by Cuaron since his film debut Love In The Time Of Hysteria in 1991. His subsequent Hollywood films - A Little Princess (1995) and Great Expectations (1998) - marked him out as a keenly sought after talent.

After ten days on release through 20th Century Fox, Y Tu Mama has grossed some $3.3m. It tells the story of two best friends (Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna) who embark on a sexually charged road trip with a seductive woman (Maribel Verdu). Shot in Mexico by award-winning Mexican cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki, who shot A Little Princess and Great Expectations, as well as The Birdcage, Sleepy Hollow and Michael Mann's Ali, Y Tu Mama was sold in most international territories by Good Machine International although Sergio Aguero at Endeavor handled the domestic sale to IFC on behalf of Cuaron and his co-producer Jorge Vergara.

The highly explicit film was produced by Anhelo, a new production outfit teaming Cuaron and Vergara, a prolific Mexican businessman whose company Omnilife is a Guadalajara-based supplier of nutritional supplements. Cuaron co-wrote the script with his brother Carlos Cuaron.

The deal was negotiated by IFC Films' senior vice president of marketing & distribution Bob Berney and his director of acquisitions Sarah Lash with Aguero and Todd Stein of Weissmann, Wolff, Bergman, Colman, Silverman, Holmes LLP on behalf of the film-makers. "We are very excited about getting this film out to the widest possible domestic audience," said Berney, pointing to its phenomenal opening in Mexico.

IFC Films has assembled a busy slate since its inception one year ago. Currently on release are Jim McKay's Our Song, Kristian Levring's The King Is Alive and David and Laurie Gwen Shapiro's documentary Keep The River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal's Tale. Coming up from the company are Lukas Moodysson's Together, Brad Anderson's Happy Accidents, Joel Hopkins' Jump Tomorrow, Kenneth A Carlson's Go Tigers!, Jesse Peretz's The Chateau, Patrick Stettner's The Business Of Strangers and Jordan Melamed's Manic.

Berney said that IFC will release Y Tu Mama Tambien in mid-2002.