Aage Hoffart, until recently head of marketing at Scandinavia's most established independent film distributor, has launched his own company in competition with his former employer.

After 14 years with Norway's leading independent distributor Europafilm, Hoffart has unveiled his own distribution entity, Oro Film, with financial backing from private investment company Diopter.

Oro has already acquired a slate of theatrical documentaries ranging from local productions such as Even Benestad's Berlin Panorama entry All About My Father and Oyvind Sandberg's documentary To Sail One's Own Sea to Jon Bang Carlsen's Portrait Of God from Denmark.

But Oro's grand entry into the distribution arena will be the of release Cool And Crazy 2, the eagerly awaited follow-up to last year's Norwegian hit, which took a staggering $3.3m locally.

The distribution rights for Cool And Crazy 2 have been the subject of an acrimonious and controversial dispute between Hoffart's previous employer Europafilm and his newly-established Oro.

Europafilm, which had local rights to the hugely successful original Cool And Crazy, sued the film's producer Barentsfilm in December, arguing that Barentsfilm had committed to release the sequel through Europafilm, but lost the case.

Meanwhile, Danish distributor Scanbox Entertainment has also established a Norwegian theatrical subsidiary, taking over the titles formerly handled by the local outpost of UIP, until the agreement expired in October 2001.

The Norwegian division of Scanbox will handle Scandinavian, US and European fare. Titles such as Jeepers Creepers, Rat Race, Gosford Park, In The Bedroom, Monster's Ball and Curse Of The Jade Scorpion are on the company's 2002 slate.