South Korea's Sejong has picked up German director Martin Gypken's second feature Nothing But Ghosts (Nichts Als Gespenster) ahead of its world premiere screening on Locarno's Piazza Grande on Monday evening.

Beta Cinema's head of sales Andreas Rothbauer confirmed to in Locarno at the weekend that Sejong had acquired theatrical, TV and home video rights to the film adapted from the novel of the same name by Judith Herrmann about the general rootlessness of Generation X.

The co-production by box! Film Hamburg with Senator Film Produktion, Marco Polo High Definition and broadcaster RBB will be released theatrically in Germany this autumn by Senator's distribution arm Senator Film Verleih.

Producer Andreas Eicher of box! Film revealed that he will now be working with Gypkens on a second feature project entitled Die Hingabe which will be based on an original screenplay by the director.

Meanwhile, Ida Martins of Cologne-based Media Luna Entertainment told that she has added another two films premiering in Locarno to her sales lineup in addition to the Swiss-Italian Fulvio Bernasconi's International Competition film Fuori Dalle Corde which had its world premiere on Sunday afternoon.

Th two new titles are also from Switzerland: Jacob Berger's 1 Journee, produced by Ruth Waldburger's Vega Film with Paris-based Why Not Productions, which has its first screening on the Piazza Grande on Tuesday evening (Aug 7), and Reto Stamm and Silvana Ceschi's documentary La Reina Del Codon about East German-born Monica Krause who became Cuba's answer to Dr. Ruth. The co-production between Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion and Ireland's Soilsu Films will be premiered on Wednesday (Aug 8) in the Critics' Week section.

Locarno's first weekend saw a mixture of VIPs from the world of cinema and politics visiting the festival on the shores of Lago Maggiore. Guests sincluded Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Frank Oz and Mike Leigh to support their films, while veteran Spanish actress Carmen Maura came onto the stage of the Piazza Grande open-air screen on Saturday evening to receive the Excellence Award.

The previous evening, Argentine producer Lita Stantic had received the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize from the hands of Diego Lerman whose Suddenly (Tan de Repente) she had produced.

In addition, Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), was in Locarno over the weekend to meet the festival president Marco Solari and artistic director Frederic Maire and to attend the traditional 'diner republicain' with the Serbian president Boris Tadic, Italian vice-premier and culture minister Francesco Rutelli and German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier among the foreign dignitaries.

On Sunday, Calmy-Rey also participated in a panel discussion as part of this year's Open Doors focus on filmmaking in the Middle East, which has been co-organised by one of the DFA's divisions, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Moreover, Switzerland's Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin and Italy's Francesco Rutelli used the festival as a forum to announce the launching of a new co-production agreement between their two countries. A major innovation is that the minimum financial participation of a minority co-producer will now be reduced from 30% to 25% 'which better corresponds with the reality of co-productions between Switzerland and Italy.' Revisions were also made to the agreement to take the developments in digital filmmaking into account.