Jeremy Irons hasjoined the cast of Mathilde, a thriller set during the Bosnian War whichis one of a host of new titles on Rome mini-major Rai Cinema's upcomingproduction slate.

The Euros7m film,which marks the feature debut of Yugoslav-born director Nina Mimica, seesJeremy Irons play the part of a British army commander who finds himself inBosnia as part of the UN peacekeeping force.

The thriller, which started shooting in Montenegro on August 26, focuseson a girl's reconstruction of the events surrounding her rape by soldiers. Itis a co-production between Italy's ET Productions, Rai Cinema, France andGermany.

Meanwhile, 2-year-old Rai Cinema is lining up new films by some ofItaly's best-known filmmakers, including Silvio Soldini, Gianni Amelio andErmanno Olmi.

Marking a return to comedy, Bread And Tulips director SilvioSoldini has again teamed up with writing partner Doriana Leondeff on a new filmAgata And The Storm (Agata E La Tempesta). Co-produced by Mikado and RaiCinema, the comedy will feature two or three main characters who findthemselves in a variety of situations.

Gianni Amelio willstart shooting in March 2003 Born Twice (Nati Due Volte), a dramaadapted from Giuseppe Pontiggia's eponymous novel and planned as a Europeanco-production.

Italian auteur Ermanno Olmi, director of the multi-award winning ProfessionOf Arms, is currently shooting Singing Behind the Screens (CantandoDietro I Paraventi), a film based on a short story by Argeninian writerBorges about a woman pirate in 19th Century China. The film is aco-production between Lakeshore, Italy's Cinemaundici, Rai Cinema, Germany andFrance.

Lakeshore, which boarded the film asco-producer, US distributor and international sales agent, now appears likelyto invest in other Italian and European films at pre-production stage, therebyguaranteeing US distribution to a growing number of arthouse titles.

Rai Cinema CEO Giancarlo Leone said the company is also developing YourFace (Il Tuo Volto), a new movie by Light of My Eyes director GiuseppePiccioni, Katerina Va In Citta, a comedy by Paolo Virzi co-produced withRome's Cattleya, No Man's Land director Danis Tanovic's upcoming NorthAfrica, and Marco Bellocchio's Mor(o) Buongiorno Notte, adrama about the real-life kidnap and murder of Italian prime minister Aldo Moroin 1978.