KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic

Polish thriller “Yuma,” about a young man who becomes a gangster after the collapse of Communism 20 years ago, has secured U.K. distribution just days after its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

A debut by helmer Piotr Mularuk, who also produces through Warsaw’s Yeti Films, “Yuma” is screening in fest’s East of the West competition.

The film stars Jakub Gierszal, this year’s Berlin Shooting star, and Poland’s Katarzyna Figura and Tomasz Kot.

“Yuma” will get a 60-print release Aug. 10 in the U.K. through new distrib Giant Film, the same day Kino Swiat releases it on 150 prints in Poland.

Mularuk describes his pic as ” ‘Scarface’ meets ‘Goodfellas’ meets ‘Goodbye Lenin’ meets ‘3.10 to Yuma,’ happening on the border of Poland and Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.” The Polish-Czech co-production narrowly avoided cancellation when a private equity financier pulled out late in pre-production. It was rescued by a Polish soft-drink company whose boss had started out in business in the early 1990s via adventurous circumstances similar to those of the movie’s hero.

Giant Film plans to use Polish-language publications in the U.K. to promote the film to the large expat population there.