As if there weren't already enough international film and television markets, yet another new event has been created to entice programme acquisition executives away from their offices with news of the European Programmes Market (EPM) in France's Deauville from January 28-30, 2005.

Although the event will be running simultaneously with the last two days of Rotterdam's CineMart co-production market (January 25-29) and be less than a week before Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) cranks up on February 5, the EPM - which follows on three days after Biarritz's Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels (Fipa) (January 20-25) - will be structured as a showcase for only European feature films and television programmes.

According to MEDIA Programme chief Jacques Delmoly, who is providing financial support for all four of these events at the end of January/beginning of February, EPM is "an important and timely initiative for the European TV industry. The European Union has become the largest market in the world, even more so today with the arrival of new Member States. It is therefore vital for producers, broadcasters and distributors to meet, exchange ideas and initiate new areas of co-operation within Europe."

"It will be the major meeting place for European television professionals and the ideal showcase for European programmes which merit both a wider distribution inside Europe and the opportunity to find new markets in the rest of the world", Delmoly said.

EPM's organisers are expecting to have 1,500 professionals attend the three-day event whose range of services will include exhibition stands, information breakfasts and a European Programmes Database.

450 international buyers will be invited by EPM to come to Deauville to view over 2,500 new programmes which will be presented in seven different categories:

feature films
animation/youth programmes/educational programmes,
magazines/sports/news and current affairs,

Speaking very much tongue in cheek to, Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick is not letting himself be bothered by the new market: "Even if they have a free lunch in addition to the information breakfast, I unfortunately can't go to Deauville because we'll have only a few hours to go before the opening of the European Film Market at the Berlinale. And I would be just be coming back from the CineMart!"