The Czech International Documentary Film Festival inJihlava is to launch the first ever market for Eastern and Central Europeandocumentaries, it was announced during this week's Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Called East Silver, the launch comes as documentaries arereaching new heights of popularity, particularly in the theatrical market.

Acollaboration with the Institute for Documentary Film and Karlovy Vary, EastSilver will able to draw on the latter's international connections.

"Thefestival has been an excellent partner for years," said Karlovy Vary's artisticdirector Eva Zaoralova. "We too have a documentary competition, but can onlychoose films which have a 35mm print. We have had to turn down many fine filmson that account, and have been directing them to the Jihlava festival."

The eventhopes to attract more international buyers to its 8th edition, which runs Oct26-31, and mentions ARTE as well as national broadcasters from Finland toHolland and Belgium as being interested in attending.

"But wedon't want to be a cliche, and just invite the rich West to come and see ourdocumentaries," said Marek Hovorka, the director of IDFF Jihlava. "We hope verymuch that buyers from Eastern Europe will be interested as well."

Thefestival has already built a library of some 300 titles from countriesincluding Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Russia and Austria, but also aimsto function as a support and development source for filmmakers from the region.Entry for this year's event is free of charge.

Otherinitiatives connected with the festival will be the East European Forumpitching session, as well as the festival's competition for local Czech films,Czech Joy, and the Central European documentary competition, Between The Seas,which has a first prize of Euros 10,000.