Now in his sixth year as festival director, Dieter Kosslick has pronounced the 2007 'a Berlinale of the actors: we had never had so many actors' films, big stars and cinema legends in the Berlinale's history as was the case this year'.
Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, Kosslick said that 'technically speaking, it was the biggest Berlinale of all time, everything has gotten bigger, including the size of the festival audience.'
Ahead of the awards ceremony on Saturday evening, the festival organisation reported that more than 19,000 accredited visitors from 127 countries, including 4,000 journalists, had attended the Berlinale.
Moreover, approximately 430,000 cinemagoers had attended the 1,190 screenings of 373 films in the festival programme, including about 200,000 tickets sold to the paying members of the public.
These figures did not include additional admissions for the Cinema Day on Sunday when a selection of 75 films were being shown at a standard admission price of Euros 6 for local Berliners to have a chance to see some of the festival films.
Among the films screening were Golden Bear winner Tuya's Marriage, Goodbye Bafana, Irina Palm, Hallam Foe, Panorama's Teeth, 2 Days In Paris and The Bubble; Forum's Armin, Brand Upon The Brain and Madonnas; and Generation's Razzle Dazzle, Lotte From Gadgetville and Sweet Mud.
At last year's festival, 418,000 admissions were registered for the 880 public screenings, of which 186,000 were for paying members of the public.
Looking at the second year of the European Film Market (EFM) in its location at the Martin Gropius Bau, Kosslick said he was 'very satisfied' with the EFM's development.
'When I was at the European Film Market, I didn't feel any of that aggressive atmosphere which was there partly last year. There were really good vibes this year. Naturally, it is still a problem to synchronise everything with the hotels and EFM business offices.
'What market people have been telling me is that there will be a run back into the Martin Gropius Bau although we don't really have any space. But the people want to be back in this central place.'
In 2007, 259 film companies from 46 countries presented themselves at 115 booths. A total of 702 films were scheduled, with 878 buyers from around the world accredited.
EFM co-director Karen Arikian explained that several measures had been taken to avoid any problems in the Martin Gropius Bau of over-crowding. 'Last year's allowance was approximately 1,800, and this year we were permitted about 2,000 [people in the building],' she said.
'In addition, several other factors helped to ease the situation in the MGB, such as setting up a restaurant (Gropius Mirror) outside of the building, not selling daily passes on the weekend and setting up regulations for multiple day passes to have restricted access to the MGB on the weekend [valid as of 16.00].'
There was still criticism from some about the location of the EFM Business Offices, while many market participants were still oblivious to the fact that another 40-odd sales companies were at Potsdamer Platz 11.
But EFM market director Beki Probst explained that these office spaces had only been taken because of the great demand for sales companies wanting to be present at the Berlin market.
'More than 50% of the companies were already here last year, they knew what to expect,' she said. 'We never sold it as the first place but as a secondary location where they only pay half of the stand rate.
'A dream world would be to have a huge building where everyone is under one roof. The MGB is also a priority for people who have been with us fromday oneat the Cinecenter and debis building. I won't leave those people in the cold just because some new companies have decided to come to Berlin.'
Probst pointed out that the EFM's profile has evolved so that 'we now have companies like Focus and Weinstein with bigger films and, on the other hand, smaller companies like Media Luna, mdc and Hollywood Classics. I believe Berlin has always been the place where a small company like mdc has its place in the sun. They don't disappear here.'
The 58th Berlin International Film Festival will be held Feb 7 - 17, 2008.