A new production-distribution outfit, Transcontinental Film, has launched in the Northern Italian town of Bergamo, with two picks-ups under its belt - horror film The Convent and Mexican hit The Other Conquest.

The company, headed by Adriano Valoti, plans to handle both mainstream and arthouse titles. The Other Conquest, written and directed by Salvador Carrasco, pulled in a record one million admissions in Mexico for distributor 20th Century Fox. US horror title The Convent is directed by Mike Mendez and produced by Alpine Pictures. Both pictures are scheduled for a November release.

On the production side, Transcontinental is developing a Che Guevara biopic - Che: The Last Revolutionary - to be directed by Giuseppe Ferrara and Armenia Balducci, which is currently casting, and Franco Levati's Ready In Five, an action film about the Italian air force.

The company's television slate includes two projects for state broadcaster RAI: Disco Party, to be directed by Gianni Minello, and the internet-set thriller www.morte.

Valoti doesn't see the company's remote location as a hindrance. "We hope it works to our advantage, and towards the expansion of cinema in Italy," Valoti said.