EFM to screen a record 702 films


COLOGNE, Germany -- The European Film Market, the industry event that runs alongside the Berlin International Film Festival, has hit another high-water mark in terms of attendance and films scheduled to screen, breaking the record it set last year before the doors have even opened on this edition.

A total 259 companies from 46 countries will screen 702 films at this year's EFM, which runs Feb. 8-16.

Market organizers said Tuesday that 878 buyers have registered to attend this year's event, up from 761 last year.

The EFM has expanded its screening capacity to meet the growing demand, adding three new video studios in the Hotel Marriott on Potsdamer Platz, in addition to the 31 cinemas used for market screenings.

The market plans to hit the ground running. EFM director Beki Probst said that screening rooms on Day 1 of the event already are booked solid.

The EFM eliminated its in-house cafeteria this year to create more room for sellers but the market has added an eating venue right outside the market building, the Martin-Gropius-Bau. The Gropius Mirror will feature menus designed by award-winning German chef Otto Geisel and prepared by Martin Scharff and Juergen Koch.

In a separate announcement, the Berlin Festival said that this year's Berlinale Camera awards will go to Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros, Italian documentary director Gianni Mina and the publishers of German cinema magazine KINO German Film, Dorothea Moritz and Ron Holloway.

Mina will be honored Sunday, Feb. 11. Following the ceremony there will be a special screening of the director's two documentaries about Cuban leader Fidel Castro: "Cuban Memories: Un Dia Con Fidel" and "Cuban Memories: Fidel Cuenta El Che."

Meszaros will receive her Berlinale Camera on Tuesday, Feb.13. Following the ceremony there will be a special screening of her "Adoption" (1975), the first film by a female director to win Berlin's Golden Bear.

The ceremony for Holloway and Moritz will be held Friday, Feb. 16 and be followed by Holloway's documentary "Paradjanov -- A Requiem," about the late Armenian director Sergei Paradjanov.