This year marks the ninthconsecutive year in which European Film Promotion (EFP) has attended theAmerican Film Market, but will EFP be back in Santa Monica next year'

In the run-up to this year'sevent, there have been rumours that the promotional organisation will be facedwith budget cuts that may prohibit it from coming to the AFM.

EFP receives Media Programmebacking. Its annual budget for all its promotional activities is currentlyaround $2.55 million.

This year, as ever, EFP isoffering office facilities and subsidies to 16 European producers and salesagents, many of whom would not otherwise have been able to attend the market.For the first time, a company from Slovakia, SPI International, is at the AFMunder the EFP umbrella.

'It would be tough tocancel this after so many years but we don't know yet,' EFP'smanaging-director Renate Rose commented. Details of EFP's budget for 2007 areyet to be confirmed. One source suggested the organization may face a budgetcut of 10%.

The new Media Programme,Media 2007, running from 2007-2013, is expected to have a budget of 755 millionEuros (approx $963 million.)

With Romania due to join theMedia Programme next January, there will be added pressure on resources. Roomneeds to be made for the new entrant. Cuts in funding to some Media-backedactivities appear inevitable in 2007, although these cuts may be restored in2008.

Countering the rumours thatEFP's wings are bound to be trimmed, a Media spokesperson pointed out thatpromotional activities are largely being left alone. 'The promotion lineis the least affected. The more severe cuts are somewhere else.'

Development funding andtraining initiatives are expected to suffer far more severely than promotionalactivities. Nonetheless, EFP can't count on keeping its current level offunding yet.

'How EFP is going to betreated by the (Media) Programme as one of the projects in promotion, that isyet another topic. There are a lot of other organizations competing for thismoney,' the spokesperson added.