Medien & Television Muenchen (MTM), producer of the Berlinale competition film Der Felsen (A Map Of The Heart), and the film's sales agent Bavaria Film International plan to release Dominik Graf's film themselves theatrically in Germany.

"We are going to try an experiment", explained executive producer Andreas Bareiss of MTM. "Since the film itself is an experiment, we are going to carry this experiment a step further by distributing the film via Concorde Film who will put their administrative, booking and marketing knowhow at our disposal".

Originally, the film had been scheduled to be released in Germany by Arthaus as the DM 6.4m film was co-produced by Kinowelt Filmproduktion, but theatrical rights reverted to MTM following Kinowelt's financial problems this winter.

"I think films like Der Felsen need a very special handling and so one should therefore perhaps find a different structure for releasing arthouse films which minimises the risks", Bareiss suggested. "If this experiment should show any kind of success, then we would possibly continue with a second of our own productions. And if this experiment also worked, then I might then think about giving it more of a structure. However, we would never do this for our bigger films which need a different kind of marketing power".

Currently, MTM's production of Caroline Link's Nirgendwo In Afrika is displaying remarkable staying power for distributor Constantin Film in the German cinemas, topping one million admissions at the beginning of this week and still running on 229 prints after nine weeks on release.

Constantin will also release MTM's German-Austrian-Swiss co-production of Urs Egger's drama Epsteins Nacht this autumn, although Bareiss pointed out that the previous exclusive distribution arrangement with Constantin has since been curtailed.