Mumbai-based film production company Numero Uno has teamed up with both leading Indian film distributor Shringar Films and New York-based Rossellini Associates in a venture to distribute specialist foreign titles across the Indian sub-continent.

The first film tto be released in India through the venture is Life Is Beautiful, a Miramax title that Rossellini Associates hopes will be joined eventually by further Miramax art-house product in India.

Numero Uno is owned by Indian film producer Sanjay Khan. Rossellini Associates is headed by Gil Rossellini, son of Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, who plans to use his US base to spearhead acquisitions. Mumbai's Shringar films, controlled by veteran distributor Shyam Shroff, has been distributing similar films in various languages in the past and will be involved in marketing and advertising the films.

"In India, when it comes to audiences, the sheer size is daunting. If even about two to three per cent of the populace comes to watch our films here, it still adds up to over 12 million people. This is a huge figure, which is almost as large, if not larger than, the entire US movie-going population," said Rossellini.