New Beneluxdistributor Bright Angel Distribution will launch from the end of this month.

The company, which aims to handleall rights for eight-to-ten art-house films per year, is the creation of Chris Oosterom, currently programmer and head of acquisitions forFilmmuseum, and Patrizia Raeli, departing head of acquisitions at the UK's Metro Tartan. The pair will act as joint managingdirectors.

"The kind of films we like are not big-budget. Our track recordsshow that we like the kind of art-house films with cross-over potential. We willbe after edgy films with something new in terms of cinematic form,story-telling or subject matter," said Oosterom.

Bright Angel willbe based in Amsterdam, but buy rights covering all ofthe Benelux region. It will operate on a low-costbasis with a number of functions such as booking handled by sub-contractors. Itwill also seek long-term partners to cover Belgium and the video market

Oosterom said that the company has already begundiscussions with sales companies and producers and would look to make its firstacquisitions during Cannes. The new company could be in a positionto launch its first film onto the market by late summer.

The companystarts at a time when a number of other independents are facing severefinancial difficulties and even closure. "We know that there are somedistributors in trouble, but that also throws up new opportunities such asthose that emerge when production relationships change," said Oosterom. "It is much better to launch now that it wouldhave been two years ago when minimum guarantees were much higher."