MPI Media Group announced today the formation of MPI Pictures. The theatrical distribution arm of the Chicago-based entertainment company will specialize in the release of foreign language art films, American independent films and high-end genre. And they are hitting the ground running – MPI Pictures already has a slate of seven films, one of which came out last week and another of which has two Oscar winners in it. The mixed martial arts documentary Fightville opened to a limited release in New York and LA on April 20. It is also currently the number one independent film on iTunes. The Artist’s Jean Dujardin and La Vie en Rose’s Marion Cotillard star in the French dramatic hit Little White Lies, directed by Guillaume Canet. Little White Lies is to be released on August 24, 2012. Other films to be released by MPI Pictures include Americano starring Mathieu Demy and Salma Hayek and the thriller The Big Picture starring Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve. Greg Newman, MPI Media Group Executive VP will lead the new division. Marie Therese Guirgis will be head of Theatrical Distribution. With new acquisitions coming in the next few months, a source close to the company tells Deadline, MPI Pictures plans on releasing a slate of six to eight films every year.

Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.