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Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick has been deluged with more than 4,450 submissions for the 57th Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 8-18), a jump to a level never seen before that he traced to the growing importance of the European Film Market.

Adding there was no clear trend for the 2007 festival, Kosslick said the large number of submissions means the first announcements about competition entries will not be made until early January.

A year ago at this time, about two months before the fest’s start, he said, about 3,800 submissions had been received.

While most entries are for the various sidebars, there have been more than 1,100 submissions for the 20-odd competition slots — an increase of nearly 200 contenders from a year ago.

In 2006, 360 films from more than 50 countries unspooled at the Berlinale.

“It seems quite clear that one now goes to Berlin to present their films,” Kosslick said in an interview with German news agency DDP published Tuesday, referring to the growing clout of the EFM that runs alongside the festival.

The EFM has gained in stature since the American Film Market changed its dates, making Berlin the biggest and most important market of the new year.

Separately, the first official selections for the German film sidebar Perspektive Deutsches Kino were announced.

They include Bastian Guenther’s debut film “Autopiloten”; Ben von Grafenstein’s “Blindflug”; Pepe Planitzer’s “Alle Alle”; and Julia von Heinz’s “Was am Ende.”

Also set are two half-hour films, “Aschermittwoch” by Ileana Cosmovici and Hannah Schweier’s “Aufrecht stehen.”

Perspektive director Alfred Holighaus said, “What is noteworthy this year is the artistic maturity, the dramaturgical resolve, the psychological instinct and frequent flashes of poetic elegance” of these young filmmakers.

The complete program of Perspektive Deutsches Kino will be announced in mid-January.