European broadcaster RTL Group's video subsidiary BMG Video/Universum Film has launched a theatrical arm Universum Film to act as a link in the distribution cooperation deal announced last year between RTL and Constantin Film (Screendaily, 10 September 2001).

Universum Film, which will be headed by the video distribution company's chief executive Tanja Reichert-Facilides, will handle the marketing of films acquired by RTL in German "all rights deals" such as Intermedia's K-PAX, K-19 and Basic and Myriad Pictures' Van Wilder and Killing Me Softly. It will also deal with titles acquired by Universum itself, the first of which will be Van Wilder due to be released on August 1.

Constantin Film's role in the distribution cooperation, which is initially limited until the end of 2003, will be to handle the booking and billing for all of Universum's releases.