Two Munich-based distributors Prokino Filmverleih and Movienet Film and Berlin distribution outfit Piffl Medien have each received the 2002 Distributor Award worth Euros 100,000.

The awards were presented to the three companies at a special ceremony on last week by Germany's new State Minister of Culture Christina Weiss in recognition of "special achievements in the circulation of artistically outstanding films'. The prize-money is to be spent on the release primarily of quality German and European titles.

While Prokino's lineup has included Amelie- with over 3m admissions -, Christopher Roth's Baader, Nanni Moretti's The Son's Room and Bowling For Columbine (currently on release), Piffl Medien has Hannes Stoehr's Berlin Is In Germany and the Austrian documentary Im Toten Winkel - Hitlers Sekretaerin, Eoin Moore's Pigs Will Fly and Kazushi Watanabe's 19 in its programme. Movienet's release schedule has featured Mika Kaurismaki's Moro No Brasil, Julio Medem's Lucia Y El Sexo, Chris Kraus' Scherbentanz and the omnibus film 11'09'01.

In addition, the minister allocated Euros 1.2m worth of prize-money to cinema-owners throughout Germany for outstanding film programming, with additional prizes for special programmes of short films, documentaries or films for young people.