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Berlin fest to screen 40% of EFM pix

BERLIN — This year’s European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival will be one of the biggest ever and, as the first major film market of the year, that trend is set to continue as organizers gear up for more companies, more visitors and more films.

The number of participating companies this year is up 38% to 165 while films on offer have risen 33% to 530. About 40% of the market pics are fest screeners, compared to 33% in 2004. Market screenings have also increased by 25% to 810.

For the second year, the market is unspooling 25 new indie films in its Straight From Sundance series, presented with the Sundance Film Festival.

A new market initiative is the Works in Progress series, which offers a forum for films still in production and opportunities to meet potential partners.

The mart also has a new pact with digital projection outfit Arts Alliance Media for “screenings on demand.” Arts Alliance Media also will supply the screen in the new EFM Preview Lounge.

The partnership between the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Berlinale continues for the second year. Some 26 publishing houses are participating in the market to forge stronger ties between literature and film. Topics will range from the discussion of literary works for screen adaptations to the development of joint marketing and PR strategies.

The market location at the Daimler-Chrysler Atrium has 21% more stands this year. In 2006 it will move to the 19th-century Martin-Gropius-Bau near Potsdamer Platz, offering almost twice the space.

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