Two versions of Raul Ruiz's biopic were in circulation at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) at the weekend.

Saturdaymarked the world premiere of the 129 minute director's cut of the film aboutthe Austrian artist.

Meanwhile,on Friday, a 97-minute producers' cut was shown to critics and buyers atFriday's industry screening. This is the film that will be sold and seen aroundthe world.

"Theversion we felt would work internationally is the shorter version," said AndrewOrr of Klimt's UK-based sales agents, Independent FilmSales. Orr insisted that there was "no dispute" between Ruiz and hisfinanciers.

"Thisis not a story of the studio taking over the film," he said.

"Thestarting point of the festival is the film-maker so we're delighted to screenthe director's version also," IFFR programmer Gerwin Tamsma commented.

"It'sa unique opportunity for audiences to see Ruiz's ideal version of the film.That doesn't mean we don't appreciate the necessity of a shorter version forthe international market."

Ruizhimself was striking a diplomatic note about seeing his film edited down. "I amrealistic. It is always painful although I found it acceptable," he said,although he felt the 97-minute version looked "too much like avideo clip."

Theveteran director explained that the producers had brought in one of the editorson Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon to trim away at his original cut. However, heanticipates that his version will screen at festivals and will eventually beseen on DVD.

Klimt, starring John Malkovich and Saffron Burrows, celebrates the life andwork of the fin de siecle painter known for his unorthodox and eroticpaintings.

"Thefilm is not a linear biopic of the life and times of Gustav Klimt," Ruiz hascommented.

"It ismore fantasy, or, if you like, a phantasmagoria. Rather like one of hispaintings, in which material and imaginary figures blend and spiral around a centralpoint: the painter Klimt."

The 97-minute-cut has already sold widely, with dealsdone for Japan (Presidio), Korea (Sponge), Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Polandamong other territories.