The Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market had a successful 2021 online edition with the participation of 12,000 attendees from 131 countries.

The industry event, which took place March 1-5, gathered 504 exhibitors — 215 of which were newcomers at EFM — from 60 countries. The majority of participants was from Europe, followed by the U.S., Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil, China and South Korea. As many as 1,452 online market screenings were hosted, including 578 market premieres, on par with last year.

“The strong interest in the online platform, the bustling activity of sales businesses, the high demand for the Online Market Screenings, and the extensive use of the conference programme and active networking formats show that the industry actively immersed itself in the market during the EFM week,” said Dennis Ruh, the director of the EFM which ranks as the second biggest film market worldwide.

“It’s especially encouraging to see the number of completed films and films currently in production that were registered as sold during the market, and that we got such positive feedback on the quality of the films offered by international sales agents,” added Ruh.

By comparison, last year’s virtual Cannes Marché du Film gathered attracted more than 10,002 participants over the course of five days and 1,235 screenings.

The Berlinale Co-Production Market, meanwhile, hosted more than 1,300 online meetings with potential partners. This year’s Golden Bear winner, Radu Jude’s “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” was actually presented last year at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. The movie managed to get made with four co-production banners despite the pandemic.

“The Golden Bear for Radu Jude’s film, which was here as a project only last year and was able to be completed as a co-production despite the pandemic, is clear evidence and an incentive for producers finding means and ways to carry out their projects, even during a difficult time,” said Martina Bleis, head of the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

The Co-production Market gathered 593 participants, notably for its “Co-Pro Series” and “Books at Berlinale” pitching events.

“Our idea to create as many live moments and encounters as possible in between meetings in the online version fortunately worked out very well. Once again, we saw that great new projects continue to ignite the enthusiasm of potential co-producers and financiers,” said Bleis.

New projects by Marcelo Martinessi (“The Heiresses”), Annemarie Jacir and Isabel Sandoval also received monetary awards as part of the event.

The Co-Production Market also organized a “Visitors Programme” for young producers which also saw a record number of 125 participants from 22 institutions across 27 countries.