Prolific Korean film-maker Kim Ki-duk's Locarno competition film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring has been picked up by Israel's United King Films.

"Strong interest" has also been reported from Brazil by sales agent Bavaria Film International after Wednesday's press show and ahead of today's public world premiere screening.

The tale about a Buddhist monk having to deal with a passionate young pupil was enthusiastically released by attending critics who broke out in applause at the end of the press screening, a phenomenon previously unheard of at the Locarno festival.

Kim's film is already being tipped as a favourite for one of the Leopards and is regarded as one of the Official Competition highlights along with Pjer Zalica's Fuse and Peter Calin Netzer's Maria which both received standing ovations on their screenings earlier this week.

Moreover, Soenke Wortmann's The Miracle Of Bern has been one of the most popular films in the Piazza Grande programme, receiving more applause from the ticket-paying audience than Calendar Girls in spite of some negative notices in the local German-language press.

Benjamin Herrmann, managing director of the film's German distributor Senator Film Verleih, told that the goal for the family drama set against the World Cup of 1954 is to reach at least 3m admissions.