A new plan for a pan-European digital distribution network specially for festival films was announced in Venice.

Ichnos ( which means ‘footprint’), which has the support of satellite company Astra, aims eventually to provide four to five festival films a month for one screening only at ahost of cinemas across Europe.

The company has already come to a deal with the Biennale to show the winner of Venice’s Contracampo section as well as selected films from the festival’s Horizons section. Among the titles that will be showcased are Aureliano Amadel’s 20 Cigarettes and Gianfranco Rosi’s El Sicario 164.

The new initiative is spearheaded by producer Donald K Ranvaud of Buena Onda films and Marta Bifano of Loups Garoux.

The first screenings kicked off Sept 10 in Italy, shown on 78 screens.

The long-term aim is to screen festival movies digitally all across Europe.

“We have the support of the Italian Minister of Culture and the Ministry of Development,” Ranvaud stated. “We can give independent cinema a real window.”

“We were concentrating on giving the possibility to the major distribution chains to distribute movies not by hard drive but by satellite links,” commented Pietro Guerrieri, CEO of Milano Teleport, which recently entered into partnership with Astra

Other festivals that Ichnos is targeting include Mumbai, Sao Paulo and Huelva.