Jerome Paillard,executive director of the Cannes Market, reported a 7% increase of overallparticipants at this year's event with 7,880 compared to 7,368 in 2002.

Notableincreases came from Spain, which accounted for a 26% rise in participants, theUK (21%), Germany and France (both 12%).

Paillard saidthe number of overall buyers fell by 6% except for France, which registered an8% increase.

Registrationsdropped from China and Thailand (both down 50%), Canada (10%) and the US (5%).

StudioCanal,Arclight, Beta Cinema, Beyond, Bavaria Film International, BV International,Dolores, Fusion and Grupo Novo de Cinema all reported strong sales activity,according to Paillard.

Korean salescompanies such as Cineclick Asia, CJ Entertainment, Cinema Service and TubeEntertainment are also said to have performed strongly.

From thebuyers' perspective, market organizers reported strong activity fromGermany, which has been slow to buy in recent years, the UK, France and EasternEurope.

The CannesMarket is run by the Festival De Cannes organisation and was formed in 1959 tomeet the growing need for a business forum during the festival.