The number of international buyers attending this year's European Film Market (EFM) at the Berlinale is set to increase by almost 40% year-on-year.

While a total of 1,073 attended the EFM's 2008 edition, this year's market has 1,474 buyers from 60 countries accredited (as of Feb 2, 2009).

Commenting exclusively for ScreenDaily, the EFM's deputy market director Catherine Buresi explained that the increase was 'due to two factors: more buyers coming from Asia (158 in 2008, 236 in 2009) and a certain rise also from Latin America, and - to a far smaller extent - more companies buying for digital platforms.'

In addition, Buresi pointed out that there was a 23% increase in the total number of stands at the EFM's two venues of the Martin Gropius Bau and the Marriott Hotel, rising from 120 in 2008 to 148 this year.

The increase is largely due to the greater number of stands that can be accommodated at the Marriott compared to the previous EFM exhibitor offices at Potsdamer Platz 11.

Meanwhile, Buresi attributed the drop in the total number of exhibitors from 2008's 430 to 407 this year as resulting from 'the reduced number of companies on the MEDIA umbrella stand.'