AFM shift to fall increases demand for space at European Film Market

VENICE, ITALY – The Berlin fest’s European Film Market is on course to morph into a grander mart, with most space in its new Martin-Gropius-Bau digs snapped up, and several sizeable new players booked for stands.

“What is encouraging for me is that all these companies that were [previously] working out of hotel rooms are going to be there,” enthused EFM topper Beki Probst, during a press meeting at the Venice fest.

Companies to be operating next year out of the classy 19th century museum-turned-market will include The Weinstein Co., Lakeshore, Focus Features, Gaumont, TFI, Capitol Films, Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, UGC, Pathe and Kinowelt.

“We are aiming to create a mix between bigger companies and our traditional clientele,” said Probst.

The AFM date change, which has left the February slot entirely to Berlin, has created “an avalanche.” Some 30% more companies are booked for EFM 2006, compared with 2005, which had already seen a large leap.

“In an effort to maximize space we are arranging the stands like a game of chess,” added fest topper Dieter Kosslick.

Besides offering a twice as large exhibition area, the Martin-Gropius-Bau — which organizers stressed is a short walk from the Potsdamer Platz — will also enhance the EFM with a new 200-seat screening venue, ideal for special events and presentations.

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