European Film Promotion (EFP) has announced a partnership agreement with the European Commission MEDIA programme that will secure EFP's activities for the next three years.

The agreement includes a budget of $1.57 m (Euros 1.25m) for 2009 alone.

The partnership agreement is a first for EFP who until now have received project by project, or one year contractual support from the European Commission.

The EFP works to improve market access for European film professionals and provides sales companies with support in marketing their films at international film festivals outside of Europe. Inside Europe it focuses on promotional events.

The funding for 2009 will see $604,000 (Euros 480,000) go to promotional events and activities in Europe while $964,000 (Euros 766,000) will go to marketing support outside of Europe. For 2009 activities at international film markets will be extended.Although funding for 2010 and 2011 is guaranteed, the amount is not yet known.

EFP events in Europe include Shooting Stars at the Berlin International Film Festival

Producers On The Move at the Cannes International Film Festival; and European Distributors: Up Next! at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Film Sales Support is provided at a number of international festivals including the: Sundance Film Festival; Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, Mexico; FILMART Hong Kong; Shanghai International Film Festival; Toronto International Film Festival; Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; Asian Film market Pusan; American Film Market.

Additional events at Toronto and Pusan also take place.

Renate Rose, EFP Managing Director welcomed the partnership and stressed the benefits of a longer term approach: 'We believe that all of these efforts will go far in improving the conditions for European film and European filmmakers worldwide. We are particularly grateful to the MEDIA Programme for this three year agreement which allows the organization to devote more time to actual activities, establish long-term goals and solidify on-going partnerships while at the same time, developing new ones,' Rose said.