My Name Is Tanino and L'Anima Gemella, two Italian films which screened at Venice last year before being caught up in the financial storm currently gripping local mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori, are finally set to be released in Italy, after Medusa sealed a joint distribution deal with the Cecchi Gori Group.

The deal hatched between the two production-distribution groups marks the end of a year-long ordeal for the two movies, directed by Paolo Virzi and Sergio Rubini.

Last year, Medusa had acquired Italian rights to both pictures from its financially crippled former rival, along with a package of titles including Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio - which went on to gross over Eur 26m at the Italian box office.

However, the future of both the Virzi and Rubini films was suddenly clouded in uncertainty after it emerged that Cecchi Gori had failed to pay lab costs on the titles and neither one could be released until the former distribution market leader had paid its debts.

The deal between both groups was announced on Tuesday after Virzi in particular, made several high-profile declarations to the media, voicing his disappointment at a situation which left his comedy, My Name Is Tanino, in distribution limbo.

"I have felt profound pain at the way the situation evolved," Virzi said earlier this week to local body Italia Cinema. "I really wanted to turn the page."

Actor-director Rubini's Anima Gemella, about a love triangle in the south of Italy, will now be released under a joint Cecchi Gori-Medusa banner on April 11th.

My Name Is Tanino, about a Sicilian who travels to New York to meet up with his American girlfriend, will be released on May 30th.

Meanwhile, Cecchi Gori head Vittorio Cecchi Gori has been keeping a low profile. His notorious cash-flow and legal problems over the last two years have led to a stall in acquisitions, production and distribution at his Rome-based company. The company is still active as an exhibitor, however, and owns around 45 screens throughout Lazio.