Pathe, Slingshot team for distrib'n, sales

First title under pact is teen horror flick 'Tormented'

LONDON -- French-owned British-based production and distribution powerhouse Pathe and low-budget U.K. movie banner Slingshot have signed a distribution and sales deal, the parties said Wednesday.

The deal initially covers four movies produced by Slingshot and co-financed with BBC Films and Screen West Midlands.

The deal provides guaranteed U.K. theatrical distribution and international sales representation by Pathe for no less than a quartet of titles to be selected from Slingshot's slate of low-budget movies being co-developed with BBC Films.

The first title through the pact will be teen horror "Tormented" starring Alex Pettyfer, April Pearson, Larissa Wilson and Mary Nighy.

"By being involved as a distributor and international sales agent in the selection and development of projects on the Slingshot/BBC slate, we hope to bring a series of films to the market that have a strong commercial appeal to a younger audience," Pathe U.K. managing director Cameron McCracken said.

Slingshot's Arvind Ethan David said: "Even the smartest of low-budget films need strong champions to thrive in today's theatrical marketplace -- in Pathe we have found a partner both smart and strong, and we look forward to working with them to launch our films and a new generation of talent."