Artificial Eye hooks ‘Fish’ film

Distributor takes Arnold's second feature

LONDON — Arthouse distrib Artificial Eye has made what’s believed to be its first pre-buy of a British movie, picking up U.K. rights to Andrea Arnold’s upcoming “Fish Tank.”

Fish Tank,” which is in pre-production, is Arnold’s second feature. It follows her debut “Red Road,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2006. Arnold also won a BAFTA for most promising British newcomer, and her 2004 short film “Wasp” won an Oscar.

“Tank” is produced by Kees Kasander, with financing from BBC Films and Limelight.

The acquisition reflects a broader strategy by Artificial Eye since the company was sold in 2006 to become part of the Curzon group. Former UGC exec Louisa Dent was appointed in November as managing director, replacing former owners Pam Engel and Robert Beeson who left to launch distrib New Wave Films.

But Artificial Eye is still committed to its traditional core business of releasing foreign-language pics. The company has also announced the acquisition of Cannes competition entry “Waltz With Bashir” by Israel’s Ari Folman; the Olivier Asseyas film “Summer Hours” starring Juliette Binoche; and “My Father My Lord” by Israeli director David Volach.

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