Italian distributors' association, UNIDIM, has appointed its vice president, Lucky Red chief Andrea Occhipinti, to the post of president, replacing Manfredi Traxler, who died in June.

Unusually, the position of vice president has been split between an independent and a studio executive - Morgan Films head Francesco Pamphili and Richard Borg - managing director of United International Pictures (UIP) in Italy - have both been appointed to the role. Occhipinti said the move was part of a drive to establish firmer relationships between distributors and exhibitors of all sizes.

"The situation in the cinema industry in Italy concerns us all," Occhipinti said. "I would like to revolutionise the way we distribute and promote films, from posters and ads to using trailers in cinemas, something which is not taken advantage of enough here. And who knows the politics of releasing and marketing better than the majors'"

Occhipinti plans to meet with Alberto Francesconi, the new president of exhibitors association ANEC, as soon as possible, in order to tackle what he considers to be one of the most important issues in the Italian film industry: the increase of summer releases and the eventual creation of a year-round cinema season.

"I think next summer films will be given a better chance to stay in theatres longer, and the public a better chance to realise certain films have been released. That way, exhibitors won't have to beg for pictures from May to September anymore," Occhipinti said.