In a bid to boost the presence of Italian films in the US theatrical market, Rai Cinema is including a clause in all the acquisition and co-production contracts it signs with US partners stipulating that they must in turn agree to distribute of a number of selected Rai titles in the US.

"Silvio Soldini's Bread And Tulips, which is distributed in the US by First Look, has already made more than $3m on the US market - and more than $20m world-wide. It is right for our US partners to believe in Italian cinema, and the results of films such as Bread And Tulips prove it. The US market must believe in our films not just because of their quality, but for the business they can bring as well." Rai Cinema president Giancarlo Leone Leone said the new clause will be included from now on in every contract Rai Cinema signs with US independent distributors and majors on the acquisition of full rights, free-TV rights and any other rights.

In a further sign of a new, more forceful strategy with its US partners, Leone said Rai Cinema has also decided that it will no longer sign any more output deals with its American partners, which include Paramount. Instead, the company will either buy films in package deals or on a film-per-film basis. Leone said the no-output deal strategy has been effective since Mipcom and has been announced to all Rai Cinema's US partners. "The European market can no longer afford to make deals that are favourable to the US market like they could in the past. We need to change our way of structuring deals," Leone said.