Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) is introducing new access restrictions to its venue in the Martin Gropius Bau for the first weekend (Feb 9-10), which may lead some accredited professionals looking to go elsewhere to do business at the festival.

Moreover, new premium screening rates will be introduced for the first time for market screenings at the EFM from Friday, Feb 8 to Sunday, Feb 10.

One thing that is not changing, though, are the prices of the three standard passes: Market Badge+Festival Accreditation ($563, or Euros 400), EFM Screening Pass ($422, or Euros 300) and Festival Accreditation ($70, or Euros 50).

According to the guidelines for the 2008 EFM, 'priority access' to the Martin Gropius Bau will be given to holders of the Market Badge+Festival Accreditation, EFM Screening Pass, and, additionally, the Multiple-Day Pass (which will again cost $169, or Euros 120, but can only be bought as a limited edition on the spot in Berlin once the EFM has started).

Holders of the Festival Accreditation badge, however, will only have access to the market on the traditionally busy first weekend from 16:00 on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Speaking exclusively to, EFM co-director Karen Arikian argued that the 16:00 access was 'only a partial limitation due to the regulations of the building and authorities. It is not our wish, just the situation we are in. And please do not forget that last year [i.e. 2007] we had no problem with access for anyone.'

However, such a regulation next February would, for example, prevent non-market-badge-holding producers from being able to have meetings for most of Saturday and Sunday with funding executives at such umbrella stands at those operated by Focus Germany for the German public funds and film commissions or by the EU's MEDIA Programme for European professionals.

Furthermore, while the hourly screening rates for presentations at the EFM have been pegged at the 2007 prices - $352 or Euros 250 (cinema), $309 or Euros 220 (studio), $281 or Euros 200 (video screening in studio) and $633 or Euros 450 (HD screening) - these are increased for slots booked over the first weekend (Feb 8-10) to $493 or Euros 350, $422 or Euros 300, $387 or Euros 275 and $845 (Euros 600), respectively.

Commenting on the higher prices for the first weekend, Arikian noted: 'We decided not to increase any prices for stands, advertising, technical rentals, etc. The only increase is for the high priority screening days of the weekend. These days are much in demand.'

Meanwhile, the EFM will be offering a 15% discount on the standard screening prizes for slots booked on the second Thursday, Feb 14, a day before the market closes on Friday, Feb 15.