The theme of diversity has been one of the most defining elements of this year's Berlinale, but it is the documentaries, rather than feature films, that seem to have made the biggest impression. Apart from Monster's Ball and 8 Femmes, the busiest sales agents are likely to be those handling documentaries such as Uncle Frank, Lost In La Mancha, animal doc Travelling Birds and Mika Kaurismaki's Moro No Brazil.
The 52nd edition of the Berlin film festival opened with an awesome display of statesmanship and has been regularly punctuated by further diplomatic triumphs.
This is a festival made in the image of its new festival chief, Dieter Kosslick; fresh, friendly and full of beans. Kosslick was even able to take partial credit for having made opening night film, Heaven, by Germany's hottest young director Tom Tykwer. He funded it during his previous stint at public sector support body Filmstiftung NRW. Selecting the film brought with it the glamour of a genuine A-list star, Cate Blanchett, and the marketing muscle of co-producer Miramax
Kosslick's political connections delivered Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to the opening night's festivities and the premier usage of a gargantuan new parliamentary annexe as party venue. Schroeder even used the occasion to offer new money for the local film industry.
The Berlinale has been used by numerous local and European bodies to unveil new funding alliances and improve funding efficiency. And there has barely been a day without a seminar or workshop on some form of co-production and Euro-financing.
The plethora of script events was matched by a pledge from the festival to give screenwriters equal credit with directors and stars in all its literature from next year.
Unafraid to co-operate with other events, Berlin this year hosted half a dozen Cinemart projects looking for financiers in the first edition of the Rotterdam-Berlinale Express. Similarly, the Shooting Stars talent promo event has been given new meaning by focusing on the faces to be seen in festival or European Film Market pictures.
Kosslick's inclusive way of working has won numerous plaudits. Giving an after dinner speech, Michael Barker, co-chief of Sony Pictures Classics said he had never been to a more rounded festival and proposed a heartfelt toast to an absent Kosslick, who had been ordered by his doctors to stop overdoing it.
Where Kosslick's predecessor played to his connections with the US Majors and local distributors, Kosslick's obvious empathy with the talent has paid surprising dividends. Allowing the stars of the competition films to bring along what looked potentially like vanity projects - Kevin Spacey's Uncle Frank for one - has yielded pictures of fine quality. By having them play in the Forum and Panorama sidebars has given the whole festival a more balanced feel.
Diversity has been adopted by Kosslick as his personal motto and that of the festival ever since the events of September 11 and this has brought richness - such as the 18 films that made up the Chinese panorama.
But diversity has not always worked to the advantage of the selection and there have been few features to stand head and shoulders above the competition. Amos Kollek's Bridget disappointed, Bertrand Tavernier's Laissez-Passer WWII cinema conspiracy lesson was admired but though to have a very narrow audience, despite its big budget and Zhang Yimou's urban comedy Happy Times considered all too modest. At the half way stage Marc Forster's Monster's Ball was probably the leader among critics polls, and its lead Halle Berry the front-runner for an acting award, ahead of the charming musical murder bon-bon that is Francois Ozon's 8 Femmes.
With the exception of 8 Femmes, which opened in France over the weekend with crossover audience figures better than last year's Amelie sparking bid battles, deals have been relatively scarce. Lions Gate is understood to have sold Monsters to new distributor Hoyts for Australia and to be close to finding a new home for the film in Italy.
But handlers of documentaries such as Uncle Frank, "un-making of" Lost In La Mancha, animal doc Travelling Birds and Mika Kaurismaki's road movie-musical-documentary Moro No Brazil, should do plenty of business here and at next week's American Film Market.