RaiCinema label 01 Distribution has taken Italian distribution rights to Tuscancomic Roberto Benigni's upcoming film, The Tiger And The Snow. As aresult it can be expected to see asignificant jump in its 2005revenues.

Theannouncement yesterday by Benigni's production outfit Melampo Cinematograficaand Rai Cinema marks the end of a protracted battle among Italian distributors,which have apparently been wrangling over the blockbuster for months.

Benigniis one of one of the most consistent hit-makers on home soil. His last film,2002's Pinocchio, was distributed by Medusa and earned a massiveEuros26.2m at the local box office. His previous film, Life Is Beautiful,grossed Euros31.2m for Cecchi Gori.

TheEuros 30m picture, which stars Jean Reno, Nicoletta Braschi and Emilia Fox, isa story of unrequited love between a poet (played by Benigni) and a woman whoboth find themselves in Iraq at the beginning of the 2003 Iraq war.

Itis currently shooting in Rome, Southern Tunisia and Italy's Papigno Studios andwill be released in the autumn of 2005.