AnItalian distributor is launching today an alternative distribution model forAlex Infascelli's new thriller, H2Odio, which will be released straight-to-DVD and soldwith national daily La Repubblica.

Releasedby 52, the distribution company set up by Infascelli,Claudio Mieli and the Espresso publishing group, H2Odio will be available for two monthsin newspaper kiosks across Italy for $16.30(Euros 12.90) plus the price of the Repubblica or theweekly Espresso magazine.

It is thefirst time in Italy a filmis being sold at newspaper stands without having previously been released incinemas.

In twomonths, H2Odio will be broadcast onthe Italian MTV and Fox networks, on 3 Italia's mobile network and released on videothrough Homevideo Minerva.

Only thenwill the distributor also envisage a potential theatrical run for the film, ahorror-mystery drama about five girls who go on a week-long diet retreat in anisolated house where their only form of sustenance is water.

Infascelli made the decision to experiment with a newdistribution model as the picture would typically struggle in the cut-throatworld of local theatrical distribution, he says.

"Theidea was to defend ourselves from distribution that can kill a film,particularly if it is an Italian film," says the director, who haspreviously made two theatrically distributed features, Almost Blue and Il Siero della Vanita.

"Inother countries, you can make films serenely. In Italy it isalways a difficult process with an uncertain outcome. As directors, we spendall our energy trying to survive - us, rather than our film," he says.

Infascelli's debut AlmostBlue was considered a success, grossing $1m (Euros 810,512) at the boxoffice in 2000. But his 2004 follow-up, IlSiero della Vanita struggled with only $817,133 (Euros 646,728).

"Everyonewas waiting for Il Siero dellaVanita but it was massacred," he said. "I felt wornout and disheartened until we decided to go for an alternative distribution formy next film. But this isn't taking a stand against cinema. It's simply a factthat cinema no longer only exists in theatres."