Berlin Unveils Changes to Sold-Out European Film Market

European Film Market
Oliver Most

Only market badge holders will have access to the EFM venues at the Martin Gropius Bau and Marriott Hotel for the first weekend of the February market.

Berlin's European Film Market on Monday announced — as it has for several years running — that its upcoming edition, running Feb. 7-15, 2019, is completely sold out.

More than 9,000 film professionals — from buyers and producers to investors and license traders — are expected to attend the 2019 European Film Market, which will run alongside the 69th Berlin International Film Festival Feb. 7-17.

The upcoming EFM, however, will see a few changes, most notably restrictions on access to the market's main venues at the Martin Gropius Bau and Marriott Hotel. For security reasons, only market badge holders will be allowed access on the market's busy first weekend, Feb. 8-11. The changes follow a steep rise in attendees in recent years that led to overcrowding concerns and complaints from industry executives.

Under the new guidelines, only badge holders and those issued “Visitor Badges” from participating countries, will be granted access during the EFM's first weekend. The move follows a similar tact at the American Film Market last year, which restricted access to the lobby of its primary location at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in a bid to cut down on freeloading attendees.

The EFM has made some concessions to the non-accredited, opening up the Gropius Mirror Restaurant, located across the street from the Martin Gropius Bau, 9-11 a.m. every morning for meetings.

Norway will be the “country in focus” at the market, and the EFM will feature programs aimed at helping producers, investors and creatives wanting to network with executives from the region.

As with previous years, the 2019 EFM will include the latest edition of its popular Drama Series Days section, running at the Zoo Palast cinema Feb. 11-13, which highlights the best in new TV drama series. Other sections, including the Berlinale Co-Production Market for indie financing and co-production; the Berlinale Talents devoted to up-and-coming filmmakers; the documentary cinema section DocSalon; and the Berlinale African Hub, a platform for African filmmakers, which runs Feb. 8-13, will return for 2019.

The popular EFM Horizon section, held Feb. 8-12 at the Berliner Freiheit near the Marriott Hotel, will focus on diverse subjects central to the future of the film industry, including virtual reality and the challenge of promoting diversity throughout all levels of the business.