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American Film Market Begins November 2 - 9, 2011

October 30, 2011 2:30 AM
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Everyone in the film world knows the American Film Market in Santa Monica is one of the Big 3 world film markets which generate about $3 billion in deals. The business of independent motion picture production and distribution - a truly collaborative process - reaches a peak every year at the American Film Market, the Cannes Film Festival's Marche May 16-27, 2012 and the European Film Market during the Berlinale February 9 - 17, 2012.

Over 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for AFM's 8 days of deal-making, screenings, seminars, networking and parties. Participants come from over 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.
Founded in 1981, the American Film Market (AFM) quickly became the premiere global marketplace where Hollywood’s decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof. Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production — making AFM the must-attend industry event.

The AFM transforms Santa Monica. The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is converted into a busy marketplace. All 21 screens on the Santa Monica Promenade and the surrounding community become AFM screening rooms for the entire eight-day event and nine digital and video screening rooms are added just for the AFM.

Participants may view more than 800 screenings of approximately 400 films - 30 new films every two hours - the majority of them world or U.S. premieres. Titles range from big budget blockbusters that will be released by the major studios in the U.S., to lower budget art and genre films recognized at international film festivals, all destined for theaters and television around the world. With 7,000 attendees, 800 screenings, and seminars programmed by leading industry organizations, the American Film Market continues to be the pivotal destination for independent filmmakers and business people from all over the world.

In these days of acute changes when everyone is learning about digitial modes of distribution, marketing and sales, the 5 days of conferences being held at AFM are essential. See below for their descriptions! See you at the AFM!

FIVE-DAY AFM CONFERENCE SERIES TO FEATURE BROAD RANGE OF KEY HOLLYWOOD, GLOBAL PLAYERS

FIVE-DAY AFM CONFERENCE SERIES TO FEATURE BROAD RANGE OF KEY HOLLYWOOD, GLOBAL PLAYERS

Senior Executives from 20th Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One, Gersh Agency, GK Films, ICM, Sony Pictures, Summit Entertainment and United Talent Agency Among Participants


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Entertainment Partners will serve as the presenting sponsors of the AFM Conference Series, which will showcase panels on film financing, production, marketing, distribution and pitching. The five-day series will include prominent filmmakers, financiers and industry executives, covering all aspects of filmmaking from treatment to screen.



For additional information about all seminars and conferences, schedules, prices and venues, visit www.AmericanFilmMarket.com. The following is a complete list of panels set for this year’s AFM Conference Series:


Friday, 4 November, 2011: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Finance Conference
Leading CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives converge to explore the current state of independent film financing: emerging trends, where the money is, new opportunities and incentives, and what the future holds. The Finance Conference will examine the current state of independent film financing, emerging trends, new opportunities and incentives.

It features panelists including:
Ashok Amritraj, CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment; Doug Hansen, President, Endgame Entertainment; Robert Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Entertainment, L.P.; Patrick Russo, Principal, The Salter Group; Jared Underwood, Senior Vice President, Group Manager Entertainment, Comerica Bank Entertainment Group; Leon Clarance, Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Capital – a Reliance Entertainment Company; Bill Fay, Former President of Production, Legendary Pictures; Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President, Film & Television Production Planning, The Walt Disney Company; Bill Johnson, Co-Founder & Partner, Inferno Entertainment; Andrew Matthews, President, RKO Films and Bahman Naraghi, Chief Operating Officer, GK Films.

Current Issues in the Production, Financing and Distribution of Independent Film:
Moderator: P. John Burke, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Panelists: Ashok Amritraj, CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment; Doug Hansen, President, Endgame Entertainment; Robert Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Entertainment, L.P.; Patrick Russo, Principal, The Salter Group; Jared Underwood, Senior Vice President, Group Manager Entertainment, Comerica Bank Entertainment Group

Global Infrastructure Opportunities and New Distribution Models
Moderator: Joe Chianese, Senior Vice President, Tax, Business Development and Production Planning, Entertainment Partners
Panelists: Leon Clarance, Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Capital – a Reliance Entertainment Company; Bill Fay, Former President of Production, Legendary Pictures; Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President, Film & Television Production Planning, The Walt Disney Company; Bill Johnson, Co-Founder & Partner, Inferno Entertainment; Andrew Matthews, President, RKO Films; Bahman Naraghi, Chief Operating Officer, GK Films


Saturday, 5 November, 2011: 9:00am – 1:00pm


Pitch Conference
A good pitch can get a bad film made and a bad pitch can leave a terrific project languishing on the shelf. Pitching is part art (it’s creative), part science (needs to follow a tight script) and part salesmanship. Conference attendees will first learn the essential rules and tools of pitching from the experts. Then, in the AFM’s own variation of The Voice and American Idol, volunteers from the audience (you?) will pitch a panel of Hollywood decision makers. They will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch - saying what worked, what didn't, and why. Warning: This session is not for the weak.The Pitch Conferencewill look at the combination of art, science and salesmanship that means the difference between a film getting made and a project languishing on the shelf. Then, in the AFM’s version of The Voice and American Idol, audience volunteers will pitch a panel of Hollywood decision makers who will give unvarnished feedback on each presentation. Panelists include: Tobin Armbrust, Senior Vice-President and Head of Production, Exclusive Media and Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/ Agent, with the session led by Good in a Room’s Stephanie Palmer.
Presenter/ Moderator: Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room
Initial Panelists: Tobin Armbrust, Senior Vice-President and Head of Production, Exclusive Media; Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/ Agent


Sunday, 6 November, 2011: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Marketing Conference, sponsored by Mexican Film Commission:
In the age of digital media, connecting with and engaging the audience in authentic, creative ways is critical. Word-of-mouth and friend recommendations can make or break the box office results. The gurus behind the most successful and innovative new media marketing campaigns discuss reinventing the marketing wheel, explore how the consumer can be the most effective marketing tool and reveal how to win over the broadest possible audience.

Limited & Specialty Releases:
Moderator: Mark Pogachefsky, Co-Founder and President, MPRM COMMUNICATIONS
Initial Panelists: Wendy Cohen, Director, Digital Campaigns & Community, Participant Media / TakePart; Jamie Patricof, Founder, Hunting Lane Films; Dennis Rice, Founder, Visio Entertainment

Wide Releases:
Moderator: Pamela Rodi, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Publicity, Myriad Pictures
Panelists: Vincent Bruzzese, President, Worldwide Motion Picture Group at IPSOS OTX MediaCT; Tomas Jegeus, Co-President, International, 20th Century Fox; Karina Kogan, Chief Marketing Officer, BUZZMEDIA; Jack Pan, EVP, Marketing, Summit Entertainment


Monday, 7 November, 2011: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Production Conference sponsored by Multi Media Risk Inc.:
TheProduction Conference will look at product integration in movies and strategies for seamlessly incorporating brands into the production process. Brand integration and packaging often play an important role in the filmmaking process. From big budget blockbusters to art and genre films, the creative visions of directors, writers and producers are being supported, yet challenged, by these new business models and opportunities. Agents, advertisers and producers disclose what is going on behind the scenes and how to seamlessly incorporate these new decision makers into the production process.

Brand Integration:
Moderator: TBA
Initial Panelists: Eric Baum, SVP, Business & Legal Affairs for Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Xavier Kochhar, Managing Partner, MediaLink; Jordan Yospe, Counsel, Motion Picture, TV, and Brand Integration, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


Agents/ Packaging
Moderator: Paul Hertzberg, President and CEO, CineTel Films, Inc.
Panelists: Jay Cohen, Head of Packaging and Finance, Gersh Agency; Gary Randall, Co-Founder, Boardwalk Entertainment Group; Rena Ronson, Co-Head, UTA Independent Film Group, United Talent Agency; Hal Sadoff, Head of International and Independent Film, ICM; Eric Schotz, President and CEO, LMNO Productions


Tuesday, 8 November, 2011: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Distribution Conference sponsored by MACCS International bv:
The Distribution Conference will separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD, and examine strategies for managing and monetizing global platforms and changing release strategies. Why make a film if no one will see it? Industry leaders separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD. Then they will disclose their successful strategies for managing and monetizing the proliferation of global platforms and changing release strategies.

Limited & Specialty Releases:
Moderator: Steve Gaydos, Executive Editor, Variety
Panelists: David Fenkel, President, Oscilloscope Laboratories; Susan Jackson, President / Co-Founder, Freestyle Releasing; Charlotte Mickie, Executive Vice President, Entertainment One, Tom Quinn, Co-President, VOD and Digital TV, The Weinstein Company

Monetizing New Global Platforms:
Moderator: Brad Kembel, Executive Vice President, International Distribution, Summit Entertainment LLC
Initial Panelists: Dan Cohen, Executive Vice President, Pay Television and Interactive Media, Disney – ABC Domestic Television; Jon Ferro, SVP Program Sales, Entertainment One; Erik Brannon, Analyst, IHS, Screendigest


The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world's producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. More information is online at www.IFTA-online.org.
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2 Comments

  • Irena | October 31, 2011 10:07 AMReply

    I'd be interested to hear which independent and foreign language films had deals sealed in the past couple of years at AFM (no irony or criticism here; I'm really interested). Thanks!

  • sydney levine | January 6, 2012 1:54 PM

    Great project. To make a report on order is part of our consulting services. This sounds like an idea I would like to pursue - given time to do it properly or money to take the time to do it properly.

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