A new player has appeared on the Swiss distribution scene with thelaunch of Lucerne-based Cinepix Distribution in collaboration with the KiwiGroup arthouse cinema chain.

Speaking to Screendaily.com in Locarno this week,Cinepix's managing director Patrick Riesen said that he plans to release 3-5films per year with a particular - although not exclusive - focus on EastEuropean cinema. "There have been relatively few East European films shownin Switzerland," Riesen explained. "For example, the last Czech filmreleased in Swiss cinemas was Kolyaand that's some time back now."

The first acquisition wasthe Karlovy Vary competition film BeneathHer Window by Slovenia's Metod Pevec which he picked up from sales agentMDC International in Cannes. He has since also acquired all Swiss rights toDavid Gleeson's Cowboys And Angelsfrom Media Luna Entertainment after seeing the film at Karlovy Vary last month.

These first two titles arelikely to be released in the German-speaking part of Switzerland in spring 2005,but could open in the French-speaking part before the end of this year.