Miramax Films has acquired Marco Tullio Giordana'sacclaimed Italian drama La Meglio Gioventu(Best Of Youth) from Rai Tradefor North America (excluding French Canada), the UK, Ireland, Australia and NewZealand.

The six-hour film, which won the Un Certain Regard - Altadis Awardat Cannes earlier this year, was originally conceived as a televisionmini-series and began its $1m Italian theatrical run as a two-parter. The surprise sleeper hit of the summer, both parts separately hit the top ten in Italy's box office charts.

It is unclear whether Miramax will release La Meglio Gioventu in two parts or as a single presentationwith an intermission. As of yet no release timetable has been announced.

The family saga spans from the late 1960s to present day andfollows two brothers whose lives are changed when they encounter a disturbedyoung woman.

Harvey Weinstein, Miramax co-chairman, Fabrizio Lombardo,senior vice president of Miramax International, and Roberto Di Russo, presidentand chief executive officer of Rai Trade, negotiated the deal.

Miramax director of acquisitions Chiara Trento identified theproject.

"This widely acclaimed drama paints a stunning portrait of anItalian generation, and audiences around the world are certain to treasure thisaward-winning film," Agnes Mentre, Miramax's head of acquisitions, said in astatement.

"For Italian film distribution in the world, it is a step forward.Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a relationship that will keep growingwith time," Di Russo said in reference to the two companies.

Luigi Lo Cascio and Alessio Boni play the brothers, whileJasmine Trinca is the mysterious young woman.

Until now, Giordana was best known for his 2000 award-winningcrime drama The Hundred Steps (I Cento Passi).