The Berlinale is"absolutely confident" that it will be able to cater for theincreased demand from sales companies at the European Film Market (EFM) nextFebruary in its "transition year" before moving into its new venue atthe Martin Gropius Building from 2006.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily.com, festival director Dieter Kosslick said that"if the demand is going to be as people were saying at the AFM this week,we will be able to meet that. We can make architectural changes in the DebisAtrium to create additional space on the ground floor, so I am absolutelyconfident that we can cope with companies who want to come to the market in2005".
"If someone like Lion's Gate asks if we have space,then we will say 'yes'," Kosslick continued. "And I have thecertainty for 2006 and following years [with the new EM venue] that we canbecome the player the sales companies and market people want us to be."
"As far as the screening slots are concerned, we aredefinitely not straining at the seams," Kosslick noted, pointing out thatthis year's EFM screening schedule showed that "the market has additionalscreening capacity available to meet extra demand. According to ourcalculations, we could increase our screening slots by 30%-40% from this year'scapacity. We had a total of 581 screenings at the EFM this year."
Kosslick added that visitors to the festival and EFM in 2005would also have a wider range of hotels to choose from that are only a stone'sthrow from the Potsdamer Platz and the future EFM venue: the Accor Group isopening three budget hotels of its Suite, Ibis and Etap brands with startingprices for rooms of between Euros 39-79, in addition to Moevenpick and HolidayInn Express hotels nearby.
Meanwhile, 2006 will see a new Maritim Hotel being built atthe Kulturforum just walking distance from the festival centre.