Hamburg-based European Film Promotion (EFP) and the San Sebastian International Film Festival have joined forces to launch a new initiative entitled European Distributors: Up Next! to promote the wider distribution of non-domestic European films.

The first outing for this initiative will focus on 10 up-and-coming distributors from Central and Eastern Europe who will be invited to San Sebastian to discuss further possibilities of theatrical distribution on a European level.

The distributors selected by eight EFP member organisations and the festival are:

Bulgaria - Stefan Kitanov - Art Fest Ltd

Czech Republic - Premysl Martinek - Film Distribution Artcam

Estonia - Katrin Rajasaare - AS Tallinnfilm

Hungary - Rita Linda Potyondi - Cirko Film

Latvia - Oskars Killo - Acme Film

Lithuania - Greta Akcijonaite - Cinema Center Skal vija

Poland - Jakub Duszynski - Gutek Film

Romania - Stefan Bradea - Transilvania Film =0 D

Slovak Republic - Michal Drobny - Continental Film

Slovenia - Natasa Bucar - Cankarjev dom.

Commenting on this new initiative in cooperation with San Sebastian, EFP's managing director Renate Rose said the pan-European film promotion body was 'very pleased to be able to offer a support programme to risk-taking independent distributors from Europe.

'Observing market forces now for several years, EFP felt a need to pick up on the problematic and intractable question of distribution in a new, profiled European initiative.'

Festival director Mikel Olaciregui added that European Distributors: Up Next! will be an opportunity for San Sebastian to join EFP in hosting 'an event which aims to contribute to an improvement of the circulation of European films within Europe and to create networks between emerging distributors from Central and Eastern Europe and their counterparts: sales agents, producers.'