Fledlging Italian sales outfit Buskin Film is set to boost its international presence by launching a feature film production unit, with four major arthouse projects scheduled to shoot within the next year.

First up is L'eau Le Feu, a feature by veteran auteur Luciano Emmer, who is widely associated with post-war Italian cinema. The film, which starts shooting next month, will revolve around popular Roman actress Sabrina Ferilli, who plays the part of three women who all suffer from loneliness.

Buskin will also produce German-born Margaretha Von Trotta's Lucean le Stelle (May The Stars Shine), a film set in 1942 about a film producer who tries to cast actors and prepare a movie in Rome but is confronted by anti-semitic racial laws. The film, scripted by writer-director Fabio Carpi , is expected to be an Italian-French-German co-production, and marks Von Trotta's return to cinema from TV drama.

The Rome outfit, which is headed by veteran Mediaset producer Roberto Bessi and Antonio Guadalupi, will also produce Carpi's next film as director, which is planned as a co-production with Luxembourg and France.

In addition, Buskin will produce Rosalia Polizzi's third picture, L'Anima Oscura, a film about a couple of Europeans who try to set up a business in modern-day post-war Belgrade.

"We realise there is a space for quality arthouse films," says Guadalupi, underlining that the company's strategy is to focus on high production values and commercially-viable arthouse films for international audiences.