U.K. distributors take on Cannes titles

Led by Icon's move for Ken Loach's 'Eric'

LONDON -- A flurry of U.K. distribution deals have closed in recent days as this year's Festival de Cannes and Marche du Film slowly fade into memory, led by Icon's move for Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric."

Icon Film Distribution said Wednesday that it has snapped up U.K. theatrical and home entertainment rights to "Eric" in a deal with French seller Wild Bunch.

The movie details the story of a postman named Eric and his family-induced personal crisis.

The film is written by Paul Laverty, produced by Rebecca O'Brien and is currently shooting on location in Manchester.

Odeon SkyFilmworks, meanwhile, the joint theatrical distribution venture between exhibitor Odeon Cinemas and satcaster BSkyB, has stolen a march on U.K. rights to "Stone of Destiny."

Written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, "Stone" will unspool this month at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and boasts a cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Peter Mullan, Brenda Fricker and Billy Boyd.

The comedy-drama is based on the true story of the daring theft of the Scottish symbol of independence, the Stone of Scone, from Westminster Abbey in the 1950s.

Odeon SkyFilmworks chief Tony Miller finalized the deal with Gary Hamilton, president of sales and financing company Arclight.

Additionally, Contender Entertainment, the wholly owned subsidiary of Entertainment One, has snapped up U.K. rights to a brace of titles being sold by Focus Features International: the Sam Mendes' untitled project and "Traveling," a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart.