The Warsaw International Film Festival (WFF)(Oct 7-16) is launching the CentEast regional film market for films fromCentral and Eastern Europe for the first time this year over four days fromOctober 12-15.

WFF festival director Stefan Laudyn told ScreenDaily.comthat CentEast builds on the experiences of the festival's previous WarsawScreenings and will include closed screenings of around 20 films from Centraland Eastern Europe.

"We have a wide definition of the countriesbeing included ranging from Russia, the Baltic states and Ukraine through theCzech Republic and Slovakia to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and formerYugoslavia," Laudyn said, pointing out that CentEast "is not intendedto be a project market, but some people will probably be here with projects."

More than 100 professionals - 50 from Poland andanother 50 from outside - will be invited to the event which will be attendedby distributors, TV buyers, producers, sales agents, and international filmfestival directors and programmers. The long-term aim of CentEast is to raisethe market share of films from the region outside of the countries ofproduction.

"We will be showing films in the marketthat are no older than three months, i.e. they had their premieres at suchfestivals as Karlovy Vary and Sarajevo, as well as a selection of new Polishfilms. Most of the non-Polish films will also be screening in the main festivalprogramme," Laudyn added.

The market will be complemented by two industryroundtables: one will introduce the international film events such asRotterdam's CineMart, the Berlinale's Co-Production Market, the mannheimMeetings and Cannes Film Market to the Polish film community, while anotherwill focus on the do's and don'ts of international sales and marketing."We want to help those who don't know how to operate in an internationalmarket," Laudyn stressed. "Sales and marketing are also a weak spotof the Polish film industry - it is a combination of ignorance and a lack ofimagination."

Laudyn also revealed that the 21st edition ofthe Warsaw International Film Festival will be opened on October 7 by WimWenders' Don't Come Knocking and will also show his last feature LandOf Plenty. In addition, the festival will have a special tribute dedicatedto Sir Alan Parker with screenings of The Commitments and The Wall(Parker's Birdy won WFF's first Audience Award back in 1987