The Berlinale, or officialBerlin film festival, will find itself with some light-hearted competition thisyear.

German fans of the Tromaschool of low-budget film-making will be running Tromanale (10-20 Feb).Screenings and events will be held at C-Base, a high-tech grunge location inthe Mitte district, some 2 km from the Berlinale's Potsdamer Platz.

"Tromanale is the Berlinfilm festival dedicated to bringing back art to the people. Tromanale aims toprovide a space to celebrate real independent cinema, free from the exclusivepomposity of more mainstream festivals," say the organisers on their website.They also make the point that they do not levy fees for submitting films, norintend to make admissions charges for screenings. "We are fed up with prohibitiveentry charges and cronyism that so often stifles the true independence andvision in film making."

Troma founder Lloyd Kaufmannis not directly involved in the event, but has been invited to attend. "I don'tthink they'll be sending a limo to pick me up at the airport, but I've beeninvited," said Kaufmann. "This is good news for everyone and kind of underlinesBerlin's growing importance as a festival." Sundance has spawned a crowd ofalternative festival-like events including Slamdance, Slumdance and Tromadance.

The Tromanale organisers donot say how many films they will run in their competition. Submissions of"Troma-style" films are open until next week (Jan 31).