One ofRome's newest distributors, one-year-old Moviemax, aims to tap into a lucrative nichereleasing American and Asian cult and genre films which usually have troublefinding distribution in Italy.

Moviemaxhas picked up Italian rights to 2001 film Donnie Darko: The Director'sCut, which iscurrently screening at the Venice Film Festival, and has never been released inItaly.

The companyrecently released 1998 film Tale of The Mummy, which grossed a huge Euros 700,000in Italy.

Recentacquisitions include Tube Entertainment's Korean film, Natural City, as well as The Keeper with Asia Argento and DennisHopper. Moviemax will also release Arclight's Toronto title Head inthe Clouds withCharlize Theron and Matthew Hastings's horror/sci-fi tale Decoys, which is sold by US-basedImagination Worldwide.

Moviemax,which was founded last year by entrepreneur Rudolph Gentile and formeradvertising executive Marco dell'Utri, now aims to release up to 12 filmsper year.

Gentilesays the company's strategy is to focus on cult films for the youthmarket, and to invest heavily in p&a.

"Wehave marketing partners who are already working on Donnie Darko's release in November and will spendEuros 2.5m on p&a," says Gentile, adding that the film will bedistributed on a very wide 300 screens.

"Wechoose films that for some reason have not found distribution - goodfilms at a good price - and we have been building solid relationships withproducers and exhibitors," he said.

Moviemax isalso co-producing Victims, a $13m horror flick directed by The ThirteenthFloor's JosefRusnak. The film is produced by the US's Cameo and the UK's SpiceFactory.