The Martin Gropius Bau and Marriott Hotel, the areas that host the European Film Market, the Berlinale’s market which opens on February 9th and closes on the 17th, were already sold out by mid-December. Around 400 companies will be represented, many of which will have greater visibility than last year (some have bigger stands, others have, for the first time, opted for an independent space outside their ‘national umbrella’: this is the case for Russia, Japan with Unijapan, Canada with Entertainment one, Korea with M-Line and Spain with Vertice.)
CGM, which until now has been on the IFTA stand, will also have its own offices at the Marriott this year.
The US presence will be enhanced by the new meeting point for independent US filmmakers in the Martin Gropius Bau, organized by IFP and the Sundance Institute.
Is this a sign that Berlin is now also becoming a reference point for non- European professionals?
“To tell the truth, this is nothing new”, says Beki Probst, the director of the market, “in fact, until the early years of 2000 there was always a stand for independent US filmmakers at the EFM. We could say we have gone back to our origins! Although obviously this initiative fits in well with the increased presence of Sundance”.
In fact, once again this year “Sundance at EFM 2012”- which used to be called “Straight from Sundance”- will be giving international buyers a chance to view the independent US movies premiered at the Festival directed by Robert Redford.
“It is, however, clear that the EFM has taken on an increasingly international role in recent years”, continues Probst, “we are getting lots more professionals from Latin America and Asia and this year, for the first time, we have companies from South Africa”.
Italy will be represented in the area managed by Cinecittà Luce which will contain 16 companies (Anica, BLS Südtirol Alto Adige, Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Filmexport Group, Fondazione Calabria Film Commission, International Rome Film Festival, Intramovies, Istituto Luce – Cinecitta, Italian Film Commissions Association, Italian Riviera – Alpi del Mare Film Commission, Lombardia Film Commission, Milano, Minerva Pictures, Roma Lazio Film Commission, Toscana Film Commission, Trentino Film Commission and Variety Communications).
As usual Adriana Chiesa Enterprises and Rai Trade will have their own stands.
Comedies will dominate the Co-Production Market this year:
“these movies have great audience potential and, for this reason, they should be more interesting to financial backers”, comments Sonja Heinen, the director of this section of the market.
Many of the 39 projects presented are by directors who have already shown their movies at the Biennale in the past.
They include Giulio Manfredonia (whose “Qualunquemente” was in the Panorama section last year), who will be presenting “Mother Earth” produced by Lumière & Co.
Producers at the European Film Market will be able to draw further inspiration from Books at Berlinale.
On February 14th (inside the Co-Production Market) they will be able to attend the presentation of 12 novels which have been selected for their cinematographic potential.
These include Italy’s “Eva Sleeps” by Francesca Melandri (Marco ) and “The Night of the BlackBlack Cat” by Antonio Pagliaro (Nabu International Literary & Film Agency).