Ribelli Per Caso, a film from young Italian director Vincenzo Terracciano, has secured distribution in Germany after winning a ground-breaking arthouse competition

Organised by Italian promotional association Made In Italy and German cinema owner network, AG Kino, the Cinema! Italia! tour took seven recent Italian pictures to 14 German towns between September and December 2002. After each screening, the German public was asked to give every film a vote.

The winning film secures distribution in Germany through local arthouse distributor Kairos-Filmverleih, which had previously signed an agreement with Made in Italy to buy German rights to the prize-winner.

Made in Italy organiser Franco Montini told Screendaily.com that around 5,000 people voted for the arthouse films, which included Francesca Archibugi's Domani, Nina Di Majo's Winter, Antonietta De Lillo's Non e' Giusto, Wilma Labate's Domenica, Vincenzo Marra's Tornando a Casa and Emidio Greco's The Council Of Egypt.

"It gives the German distributor the chance to test films on a sample public and basically guarantees that the winning film can find an audience in Germany. At the same time, it is a way for us to help new Italian cinema travel abroad," Montini said.

He added: "It is absurd that Italian cinema shouldn't reach countries around its very own borders. Especially since often films that may not have had great box office success in Italy can do well in other countries."

AG Kino is a network of 171 arthouse cinema-owners with 266 screens throughout Germany.