The Berlinale's selectors are spoilt for choice for the line-up of the 2007 Competition thanks to the festival's increasing popularity with film-makers from around the globe.

Speaking to ScreenDaily, festival director Dieter Kosslick said: 'There are many more films which are wanting to come to Berlin this year. There is a strong desire coming from the filmmakers to show their films here in Berlin and I think it is a consequence of the success of the European Film Market that we have arrived at such a favourable position.'

He admitted that, ' at the same time, this is causing a lot of difficulties because we can't yet decide [on the line-up] since we still have over 100 films to view for the Competition and I'm saying this just a couple of days before Christmas.

'People are getting impatient which I can understand, but what can we do in such a situation' We have to screen the films and be able to make comparisons, especially when several films are coming from a particular country.'

Consequently, the festival's organisers have not yet been able to confirm any titles for the Competition, although Generation, the sidebar for children's and youth films, has already confirmed 13 of the films in its Kplus and 14plus competitions and the International Forum announced that it will present a showcase of nine films by the Japanese old master Okamoto Kihachi who died in 2005.

In addition, a homage is being dedicated to the veteran US director Arthur Penn and the Retrospective will focus on the image of women in silent movies.

Moreover, there will be a special presentation of the newly restored version of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic 14-part TV series Berlin Alexanderplatz: Remastered to mark the 25th anniversary of Fassbinder's death and the 50th anniversary of novelist Alfred Doeblin's death.

The mammoth project will be released for the first time on DVD in 2007 and has already been sold by sales agent Bavaria Film International to France (Carlotta Films) and the Benelux (Lumiere). Moreover, TV rights have been sold to Finland's YLE and Sweden's SVT.

Kosslick revealed that the Berlinale will also be used as the venue for the staging of several high-profile industry events such as the first regional conference of the Euromed Audiovisual II Programme (Feb 10-11), a MEDIA Programme Information Day (Feb 12), and a 'Culture Summit' (Feb 12-13) of the European Union's 27 Ministers of Culture to be chaired by Germany's State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann as part of Germany's EU presidency in the first half of 2007.

The revision of the 'Television Without Frontiers' directive from 1989 is set to be at the top of the agenda of the culture ministers' gathering in Berlin, Neumann announced earlier this week.

In addition, the ministers are expected to attend the public presentation of the young European acting talents selected for the 10th edition of European Film Promotion's 'Shooting Stars' initiative on the evening of Monday February 12.