Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures today announced that it has acquired the North American and Caribbean rights to the highly acclaimed and award winning film SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN. The film, which was directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang (THE BLUE KITE, HORSE THIEF) and executive produced by Bill Kong (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, HERO), will be released under Palm Pictures' Arthouse Films label. Arthouse Films, which serves as Palm Pictures' high-end fine arts/visual arts film imprint, plans to release SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN in theatres this fall, followed by a DVD/video release early next year.

SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN was acquired for Palm Pictures by David Koh, Head of Acquisitions & Production, and Ryan Werner, Head of Theatrical Distribution. The overall deal was negotiated by Mark Ragone, Palm Pictures' Head of Business Affairs. Fortissimo Film Sales was represented in the deal by Michael J. Werner, Co-Chairman; Wouter Barendrecht, Co-Chairman; Winnie Lau, Director of International Sales; and Andrew Herwitz of the Film Sales Company.

SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN marks Tian Zhuangzhuang's return to directing after a ten-year hiatus and was one of the most acclaimed films on last year's festival circuit. It won the Golden Lion at the 2002 Venice Film Festival's Upstream Competition and was screened at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals. The film is a remake of the 1949 classic of the same name and is a beautiful depiction of friendship, honor, trust and desire. Set in a small town in southern China in 1946, the film tells the story of what happens to a well-respected family when a stranger arrives in town and stirs up long forgotten desires.

David Koh commented, "SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN is the rare film that establishes itself as an immediate classic in world cinema. It is a great honor to include it in our upcoming slate of films, and it exemplifies the kind of director driven work that Palm Pictures and Arthouse Films are dedicated to delivering."

Tian assembled an award winning team to create SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN. Mark Lee Ping-bing (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) served as the director of photography, Tim Yip (Academy Award

Brian B.