Italy's Buskin Film has set up a private fund to finance, co-produce and distribute at least four European projects each year.

Named European Community Gap Financing, the fund is financed by a group of private investors. They will guarantee a minimum of Euros 4m each year to finance and co-produce up to 20% of four productions shot in the European Community.

International distribution on the productions, which will have a minimum budget of Euros 5m each, will be handled by Buskin or other European sales agents, Buskin president Roberto Bessi and CEO Antonio Guadalupi said.

Buskin will also handle Italian distribution through its newly created label, Quality Film, which is headed by former UIP and Filmauro marketing executive, Vito Matassino.

The first films to be distributed by Quality Film are Italian veteran Luciano Emmer's Water..Fire, which stars international favourite Giancarlo Giannini, hot Roman actress Sabrina Ferilli in three different roles and Valerie Kaprisky.

Quality Film, which plans to release 10 arthouse pictures each year, will also distribute three films that Buskin produced and is selling: Antonietta De Lillo's upcoming Il Resto di Niente and Fabio Carpi's Memory Lane (Le Intermittenze del Cuore) starring Hector Alterio (Son Of The Bride) as a filmmaker researching the life of Marcel Proust.