Record Attendance for Berlin's European Film Market

4:40 AM PST 02/28/2012 by Scott Roxborough
Christian Petzold's Silver Bear Winner "Barbara" was one of the EFM's big sellers.

Berlin festival winners "Barbara," "A Royal Affair" and "Ceasar Must Die" among hottest art house sellers.

COLOGNE, Germany - Attendance at Berlin's European Film Market hit an all time high this year, with nearly 8,000 film execs braving the cold of the German capital for the first major market of the year.

Official figures released by the EFM Tuesday said attendance was up 15 percent on 2011, with attendees from 100 countries represented at the market's Martin-Gropius-Bau and Marriott Hotel locations.

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“We are extremely satisfied with this year’s Market”, said EFM director Beki Probst. “Our industry participants are reporting a very productive EFM with interesting projects and new business contacts.”

The EFM defended its position as a prime market for art house titles, with features including Berlin festival prize winners Caesar Must Die from RaiTrade, The Match Factory's Barbara and A Royal Affair from Danish sales outfit TrustNordisk, selling to multiple international territories.

Outside the official EFM, Berlin this year secured its place as a premium pre-sales market with plenty of check signing at sales offices in the numerous five star hotels in and around Potsdamer Platz.

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Upcoming titles including Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg action film Two Guns from Foresight Unlimited, FilmNation's Robert Redford-starrer All is Lost from writer-director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) and Sierra/Affinity's horror title Wer from The Devil Inside helmer William Brent Bell, virtually sold out worldwide.

In total some 1,700 buyers attended the EFM this year and sales agents screened 760 films, around 600 of them market premieres.

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