Distrib books sales of 150 pix, series throughout Europe

Last month’s European Film Market was a success for local and international distribs hawking current titles, festival screeners and back catalog product.

Kinowelt Intl. said Tuesday it doubled the number of deals from last year, booking sales of 150 films and series throughout Eastern and Western Europe — many of them classic German titles from the 1960s and ’70s.

Movie series such as company’s Edgar Wallace mystery movie collection; Teutonic Westerns based on the works of Karl May; and animated “Asterix” pics were popular, according to Kinowelt’s head of world sales, Stelios Ziannis, who noted the EFM is more important than ever for international buyers.

Market also won kudos from Yoko Higuchi, head of licensing at Germany’s Constantin Film, who praised its efficiency.

Constantin picked up two titles at the mart: Jet Li and Jason Statham actioner “Rogue” and Bob Saget’s animal mockumentary “Farce of the Penguins.”

This year’s enlarged EFM drew more than 250 exhibitors from 51 countries with 650 films on offer. With nearly 5,200 accredited attendees, the mart had its largest turnout ever.

Market organizers said Tuesday most EFM participants have already booked booths for next year.

“We are delighted the new EFM got off to such a successful start, as well as by the positive feedback we have received from so many people,” EFM topper Beki Probst said. “The significant number of reservations for 2007 so early in the game underscores this success.”

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