Former advertising executive Antonio Guadalupi has launched a Rome-based international sales outfit, Buskin Films, which is dedicated to handling titles from emerging local directors.

The new company, which plans to officially launch at this year's MIFED, has already acquired four films: Giochi Di Equilibrio, directed by Amadeo Fago, Egidio Eronico's Il Guardiano, L' Accertamento, from Lucio Lunerti, and Fondali Notturni directed by Nino Russo. The last three titles were acquired from Italian distributor GAM, headed by Gherardo Pagliei, with which Buskin has a first-look agreement.

"Our company is betting on a difficult concept - Italian auteur cinema," said Guadalupi. "But we think there's a space for Italian arthouse films on the international level, if they're promoted the right way. We want to create that space with an easily recognisable but unique slate."

Guadalupi said the new outfit will be able to devote more attention than larger, established sales companies to local director's first and second features. It plans to spend at least $100,000 on the promotion of each film.

Guadalupi also plans to use the internet and smaller festivals as advertising and sales vehicles. "Small festivals are usually forgotten because everyone's concentrating on the big markets and events, but I believe they are more useful in the promotion of independent arthouse films," said Guadalupi.