Rome-based sales agent Rai Trade has taken world-wide distribution rights to two highly anticipated Italian Venice competition titles, and has also sold North American rights to Pupi Avati's Heart Elsewhere to Northern Art Entertainment.

The sales offshoot of state broadcaster Rai has picked up international rights to The Miracle, Edoardo Winspeare's much-awaited follow-up to Sangue Vivo, which made a splash on the international festival circuit, including Sundance, three years ago.

The Miracle, which screens in the Venice 60 competition, tells the story of a 12 year-old boy who discovers he has miraculous powers after he is injured in a car accident. Produced by Sidcar's Maurizio Tini, the film will be distributed in Italy by 01Distribution.

Rai Trade has also zoomed in on cult experimental filmmakers Daniele Cipri and Franco Maresco, taking international distribution rights to their Upstream competition film The Return Of Cagliostro. The film, which stars Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund, is shot in a mixture of cinemascope, black-and-white and 16mm colour film and is set in three time periods: the present day, the 1940s and the 18th century.

Meanwhile, Rai Trade has sold US rights to Pupi Avati's The Heart Elsewhere to Northern Art Entertainment, just ahead of the film's screening at the Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Denver film festivals. The film, which screened in competition in Cannes, has now been sold to 25 countries, said Rai Trade head of international sales Sesto Cifola.

Other new films on Rai Trade's sales slate are My Brother-in-law, the second film of La Capagira Donatello-winning director Alessandro Piva, and Cesare Zavattini, a documentary directed by Carlo Lizzani, about the writer, painter and filmmaker who influenced the post-war Neorealist movement.