Distributor Arsenal Filmverleih, Berlin's fsk Kino & Peripher Filmverleih and Rapid Eye Movies in Cologne have each been selected for the Germany government's 2001 Distributor Awards.

The German ministry of culture will present the awards in Dresden in October. The prizes, each of which carries $94,000 (DM200,000), were launched by culture minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin during this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

Nida-Ruemelin aims to support "culturally outstanding achievements in the sphere of film distribution".

Commenting on its decision, the jury declared that German and European films "not only form a high share of the intelligently compiled programme [at Arsenal], but also find their way to the audience through targeted and astute marketing". Peripher Filmverleih was praised for closing "an important gap in the German film and cinema scene as it mainly takes films into its programme which otherwise would have mostly remained without a German distributor'.

Rapid Eye Movies (REM) features hardly any German or European films in its release line-up, specialising instead in Asian cinema. But the jury noted that the Cologne distributor's work was so "exemplary, extraordinary and important" that it deserved to be honoured.