Arthouse distributor Mikado Film has taken Italiandistribution rights to Venice titles The Hottest State and Retribution (Sakebi).

Directedby Ethan Hawke, The Hottest State,which is screening in the Horizons competition, is about a young actor from Texas who tries to make it in Manhattan while struggling with arelationship with a singer-songwriter.

StarringMark Webber, Catalina Sandino Moreno and MichelleWilliams, the film is Hawke's second feature as writer-directerafter 2001's Chelsea Walls and is basedon his own novel. It is funded by Entertainment Farm (EF), and produced byAlexis Alexanian, Sheila Jaffe and Yukie Kito.

Retribution, directed by Japanesehorror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa, is screening out-of-competition in the Midnight sidebar. It stars Koji Yakusho as a police detective who is haunted by the imageof a woman in a red dress and starts to think he himself might be a killer.

Mikadopreviously also bought rights to Venice regular Manoel de Oliveira's out-of-competition title Belle Toujours,which stars Bulle Ogier andis a sequel to Luis Bunuel's classic film Belle De Jour.

Theveteran distributor's upcoming slate also includes Michel Gondry'scomedy The Science of Sleep with GaelGarcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Alain Chabat; French psychological thriller La Tourneuse De Pages, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles byZhang Yimou, Mario Monicelli'sLe Rose del Desertowith Michele Placido, and Kevin Smith's Clerks 2.

Mikado,run by Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini,is partly owned by Italian publishing giant De Agostini.