The European Film Market's move to a new venue - The Martin-Gropius-Bau - in February has been over-subscribed, resulting in a market 50 percent bigger than 2005 and prompting EFM organisers to open a 'spillover' venue for 40 companies.

EFM director Beki Probst revealed that due to the large demand from sales companies, it has been decided atthe last minute to provide additional space for the Feburary 9-19 event. "We have about 40 more EFM Business Suites on the fifthfloor of Potsdamer Strasse 11 (where the Berlinale GuestReception is housed) to give more companies a chance of having a presence in the Market," she told Screendaily.

The companies at the new venue are believed to include such high-profile outfits as Media Asia. With Potsdamer Strasse 11 a short walk from the Berlinale headquarters but a good 10 minutes from the Martin-Gropius-Bau, it gives market attendees a third venue to deal with in what is starting out as a confusing year.

Probst said that "the rumour that those people [using]hotel suites won't get screening slots is totally unfounded,although we will make a difference between what we see as 'priority' and 'non-priority'. Companies in the Martin-Gropius-Bau and the EFM business suites will obviously get more support. We will also be much stricter regarding the screenings because it doesn't make sense to show a film again after it has been at the markets in Cannes and the AFMalready. Cannes started that policy last year andwe also want to give priority to new films."

Festival Director Dieter Kosslicksaid that the festival has invested around $2.3m (2.m Euros) in turning theMartin-Gropius-Bau building into a suitable venue foran international film market. The move had been one of the factors which had necessitatedthe cost of the market badge having to increase by 25% to $358 (300 Euros).

'We had to bring the price into line with the additionalcosts', Probst explained, 'but unlike thesituation at other festivals, this badge allows you the possibility to see a hugenumber of the screenings at the festival without having to get an additionalticket."

She also said that additional expenditure had been incurred by theintroduction of scanners at all of the EFM cinemaswhich will provide sales agents and producers with print-outs of those buyersattending their screenings.

At the same time, the EFM is introducing two new passes for film professionals who did not apply intime for festival accreditation. The Multiple Day Pass for $119 (100 Euros) will allow the holder to enter the Martin-Gropius-Bau for the duration of the EFM but notgive access to market or Festival screenings. Alternatively, one willbe able to purchase a Day Passfor $48 (40 Euros)for one-day access to the marketvenue, but again no access to screenings.