UK distributor Optimum Releasing has picked up UK rights on two classic arthouse titles from TF1 for release through start-up video and DVD distribution and sales operation World Cinema.

Luchino Visconti's Rocco And His Brothers and Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages Of Fear will both be re-mastered by Optimum and released on video and DVD this year. Optimum will first release Rocco theatrically in the UK this September.

The company will also plug future key independent titles through World Cinema, the first of which is likely to be Amores Perros. Eloge De L'Amour, Jean-Luc Godard's Cannes competition entry which Optimum picked up on the Croisette this year, will also be released on video and DVD through the company.

Based in London, World Cinema is backed by specialist UK distributors Metro Tartan and Artificial Eye and is headed up by Mike Flello, previously head of Fox World Cinema.

World Cinema will also handle the DVD and video releases for Tartan Video and Artificial Eye's catalogue and new releases. The companies will retain their individual branding, but can be marketed in tandem. Flello said: 'If we've got two Metro Tartan titles, two Artificial Eye titles and then a title from another label in a month, we can take one advert for four or five complementary films. It's a huge benefit that we can market them together. There's strength in numbers.'