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Beki Probst: EFM numbers up in 2012 despite economic issues

Statistics released by the European Film Market suggest that this has been a bumper Berlin. Bucking economic trends, the EFM is reporting increased attendance and screenings.

“From what I have seen in the past week, when I look at the numbers, there is a plus in every section,” said Beki Probst (who has been head of the EFM since 1988). “More participants, more companies, more films.”

The total number of companies (by Feb 14th) was 403, up from 400 last year. The number of accredited buyers went up to 1700 from 1532 last year. 760 films screened (up from 741) in 2011. There were 598 market premieres, up from 570 last year. 7800 EFM delegates in all attended the market (up from 6982.)

Probst attributed the upsurge in numbers in part to EFM newcomers, among them Colombia, the Philippines, Kosovo and South Africa. Meanwhile, several sellers who had previously attended the market as part of umbrella stands this year asked for their own booths.

“The movie industry is such a big industry that they (attendees) have to go ‘business as usual’ because they can’t let it collapse,” Probst said of the robust market conditions.

Probst suggested that the technical glitches that have affected film markets when they first adjusted to the digital world had been largely ironed out. “Thanks god, no major problems. Our technicians have been wonderful. When you look at the number of screenings, there have been here and there problems — but they were problems for which we were immediately able to find a solution. There were no official cancellations.”

The Martin Gropius remains the EFM’s “flagship.” Companies also have stands in the Marriott. Probst said she was relaxed about other companies operating in the Ritz Carlton and the Hyatt. “They are with us because they are in the catalogue, they are accredited and they are screening with us.”

One trend Probst noted was an increase in Chinese buyers. “We were speaking yesterday with people from the Beijing Film Market. We were wondering, as they have a quota in China, how does it come that we have more Chinese buyers?” The hope is that the quota will be raised. There is  also an increasing market for VOD rights in China.

 

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