CineMart, heading into its 24th year Jan 28-Feb 1, isn't the lone co-production market it used to be. Competition is now tough to line-up projects, as almost every festival worth its weight features some project market element.

Tougher for CineMart, as it likes to be the first to bring a feature to buyers, financiers, and sales agents.

But co-heads Marit van den Elshout and Bianca Taal have responded with a strikingly strong line-up for 2007; 48 projects from a record 520 submitted, including new works by Stephan Elliot, Bodhan Slama, Kim Ki-duk, Pablo Trapero and Fien Troch.

The mix is suitably international, and mixes familiar faces in with the new. 'It's a little bit more difficult [to source new projects],' admits van den Elshout, 'but I'm glad to see that we're still popular.'

CineMart's 2007 projects range in budget from the $5.5m (A$7m) Black Oasis, directed by Priscilla, Queen of the Desert's Elliot and with Fortissimo attached as sales agent, to $399,000 (Euros 300,000) (Tan Chi Mui's Living Quietly), and run from script development phase to already-completed (Bruce Weber's Robert Mitchum documentary Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast).

Van den Elshout and Taal agree that, moving into their second year, 'we've been travelling a lot, which makes a big difference, and we've been able to put our stamp on things.'

Certainly, splitting the international travel between the two chiefs means they can cover the world more comprehensively.

'We're happy with the way the line-up looks,' says van den Elshout. 'We always try to focus on being balanced - the old vs the new, and trying to get a geographical mix as well.'

With CineMart holding steady as she goes, focus at Rotterdam has shifted to establishing a new sales club and industry accreditations at the festival itself, and hiring two former Fortissimo faces - Marnix Van Wijk as head of international public relations and Esther Bannenberg as an advisor to the Rotterdam Lab, an intensive meeting for 48 aspiring new producers.

New faces at CineMart this year include two upcoming female film-makers already selected for the Tiger Awards competition of Rotterdam's Film Festival - Malaysia's Tan Chi Mui (Love Conquers All) and UK/China's Xiaoliu Guo (How Is Your Fish Today').

Guo brings La Chinosie to Cinemart 2007 while Tan will present Living Quietly. And the Rotterdam line-up once again this year features its fair share of former CineMart projects - six so far, including Jia Zhangke's Venice-winner Still Life, Lou Ye's Cannes title Summer Palace. It's certainly a record to be proud of.