New Zealand distributor Rialto Entertainment is to directly distribute into Australia for the first time with the release of the Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film, Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land on April 25, followed mid-year by NZ director Christine Jeff's Rain.

Rain has grossed $210,000 (NZ$500,000) in its own market for distributor Stagedoor Entertainment, meaning it is closing on last year's biggest local hit Stickmen. The film screened in Directors Fortnight at Cannes, Toronto and Sundance. It has sold to France (ARP), Germany (Kool), Switzerland (Look Now), Italy (Key) and North America (Fireworks Pictures).

In the past, Rialto owners Kelly Rogers and David Ross have used an Australian distributor but from now on they will liaise with cinemas directly and work with marketeer Jenni Carbins on the campaigns. Rialto Entertainment owns the 20-screen Rialto Cinema circuit in a joint venture with Village Force Cinemas. It is currently distributing French film The Closet in New Zealand, which has already achieved a gross of $210,000 (NZ$500,000), for Australian distributor Sharmill Films.

Rogers aims to find some of the four to six films he hopes to release each year in Australia and New Zealand at the AFM. He is one of about 25 New Zealanders at the US market, believed to be the biggest delegation yet.