Berlin fest's mart almost sold out

BERLIN — Increased screening opportunities for 3D films will be one of the changes at the Berlinale’s European Film Market next year.

With the big event just around the corner — the Berlinale runs Feb.

10-20 — EFM organizers are shifting into high gear as they ready new and improved technical facilities and continue popular programs with industry partners.

With exhibitors from almost 50 countries attending the market, exhibition spaces in the Martin Gropius Bau venue and the Marriott Hotel are nearly booked solid.

The multitude of films on offer, among them numerous market premieres, will be presented in 33 state-of-the-art EFM cinemas. After an initial launch last year and in view of the steady growth of the 3D sector, the market will offer increased opportunities to screen in 3D.

“Considering the structural and technical changes facing the film industry, the EFM will continue to develop in order to meet the industry’s current needs,” said EFM director Beki Probst.

Also new will be the opportunity for documentary filmmakers to hold “mini doc screenings” at Meet the Docs, an initiative launched in 2009 with the European Documentary Network aimed at facilitating networking between filmmakers and distributors.

Also back are the EFM Industry Debates, now in their fifth year. The discussions on current industry trends and challenges will take place Feb. 11-13 in cooperation with Variety and other international trade magazines.

The Straight from Sundance sidebar, meanwhile, offers international buyers the chance to screen the latest U.S. indies from Sundance, while the new German Cinema — LOLA@Berlinale series presents an exclusive look at the past year in German cinema.

In related news, BMW has extended its contract as its exclusive automobile partner for another three years.

In addition to financial support, BMW will again provide the entire fleet of cars for the Berlinale as well as resume its role as host of the exclusive BMW Golden Bear Lounge at the Berlinale Press Center.

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