Italian independent distributor Lucky Red has picked up Italian rights to Venice title Open My Heart, a drama directed by first-time director Giada Colagrande about a prostitute who lives with her sister.

Screening in Venice's New Territories sidebar, Open My Heart was co-produced by Colagrande and Massimo Cortesi, the producer behind Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged and brother Giuseppe Bertolucci's Probably Love.

Colagrande also wrote and stars in the film which focuses on the women's intense relationship, alongside veteran Italian director Tonino De Bernardi (Little Horrors) making his screen debut, and Claudio Botosso (Beyond Kilimanjaro, Across the River of Blood).

Meanwhile, Lucky Red chief Andrea Occhipinti is currently producing three films through his production offshoot Eyescreen.

Sardinian director Salvatore Mereu has just started shooting in his homeland his debut feature E Tutti Risero, a drama which tells four stories taking place during the four different seasons.

And post-production is underway on Pesci Combattenti, a documentary co-produced by indie stalwart Gianluca Arcopinto and directed by Daniele di Biasio and Andrea d'Ambrosio. The feature-length film revolves around some teachers in Naples and their experience with underpriveledged kids who dropped out of school.

Currently in development is a bittersweet comedy by Luca Miniero and Paolo Genovesi, directors of critical hit Incantesimo Napoletano. The picture is set to shoot in spring 2003.

In the meantime, Occhipinti has just released Venice critical hit The Magdalene Sisters by Peter Mullan and Victoria Abril vehicle No News From God - both of which he co-financed - and is now revving up for the Christmas release of UK hit Bend It Like Beckham.