The 77th edition of the Russian International film market (the IRFM) has opened with the world premiere of Sergei Solovyev's rock-music drama 2-ASSA-2, a sequel to his cult 1987 film ASSA.

In addition the festival has confirmed that, in response to industry feedback, it will now take place three times a year.

The IRFM, which is Russia's biggest film market, attracts more than 1000 film industry professionals from Russia, CIS and the Baltics to each edition.

Most recently the market has been a quarterly event although its frequency has been a moveable feast over its 19 year history. The market will now be held twice a year in Moscow (March and December), and once as part of the Kinotavr national film festival in June in Sochi, Russia.

On March 10, Russian distributor CaroProkat will screen a preview of an unedited cut of the second part of Russia's most expensive project to date, the $37m The Inhabited Island: Part II.

The first part of the film grossed a lower than expected $22m at the box office in face of tough January holiday competition from two other Russian titles, Central Partnership's Soviet-set musical Hipsters and CaroProkat's romcom sequel, Lovey-Dovey 2.

The Inhabited Island : Part II is slated to be released in Russia on April 23.

Other market screenings will include The Boat That Rocked from Universal, 12 Rounds from 20th Fox, Put' from Nashe Kino and O, Schastlivchik! from Star Media among others.

In addition to market screenings, the IRFM offers presentations by Russia's top distributors, round table discussions and seminars on film industry issues. It also features stands offering content planning and cinema equipment services.

Russian International Film Market runs in Moscow from March 09-13