Organisers are expecting that the 2008 edition of the Berlin International Film Festival will again be a record-breaking one when it opens its doors on Feb 7, 2008.
Speaking to during this week's Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia's Tallinn, Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick said that he expects more than 5,000 films to be submitted for consideration for selection to one of the festival's sections. A total of 4,921 titles were entered for the 2007 edition and 373 films were finally shown in 1,190 screenings during the festival.
The run on tickets by paying members of the public is also likely to increase next year, according to Kosslick. After the number of tickets sold rose from 2006's 186,000 to 224,000 this year, the festival chief is forecasting that 2008 could see another 5,000 - 10,000 tickets being sold to the general public.
The interest of the general public in tickets has to be weighed up, however, with the need to satisfy the 19,000 accredited visitors from 127 countries including 4,000 journalists attending the festival. Thus, plans for the future would see additional cinemas being brought into the circle of venues screening films from the Berlinale programme. Kosslick has said that he intends to have the festival 'distributed over the whole city' for the 60th anniversary in 2010.
At the same time, the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM) is on track to have a record-breaking year in 2008: the market venues in the Martin Gropius Bau and the EFM Exhibitor Offices (previously known as the EFM Business Offices) at Potsdamer Platz 11 are already 'booked solid' with a total of 178 companies from 47 countries registered so far. In 2007, the EFM eventually hosted a total of 259 companies from 46 countries at 115 market stands.
Meanwhile, an agreement has been reached between the EFM and The Marketplace, which organises the European MEDIA Umbrella stand, to guarantee its participants access to the Martin Gropius Bau at all times.
In September, ScreenDaily reported that the EFM had tightened up its access to the market building on the first weekend (Feb 9-10) so that holders of the standard Festival Accreditation badge (costing Euros 50) will only have access after 16:00 each day.
Independent European audiovisual professionals with at least 50% European content in their portfolios as well as MEDIA Programme-supported projects and beneficiaries have now until December 15 to register directly with the EFM and complete a MEDIA eligibility form for The Marketplace.
A maximum of 200 participants will then be selected on a first come, first served basis to be registered at the 170-square metre stand in the central atrium of the Martin Gropius Bau. 'The demand will no doubt exceed this number,' according to the Umbrella stand organisers.
Apart from being a meeting place for these 200 European professionals, the Umbrella stand will again be used by Germany's MEDIA Desk and Antennae as the venue for its co-production initiative 'Share Your Slate' from February 9-13 for European producers who have received MEDIA slate funding to have pre-arranged meetings with colleagues from other MEDIA member states on the potential for co-production.