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AFM - American film market 2013

HOLLYWOOD - June 2013 - With the glamorous annual Awards season ending, somewhat officially, post the OSCARS, the invitation to register for the forthcoming AFM/AMERICA FILM MARKET '13 in Santa Monica, California, USA, has been launched. And, like in all former years, it grew to be the most important global film market event attended by most of the Film Distributors from around the world. As such, most of the this the delightful Pacific town's hotels are full for almost two weeks. They attend it also because it is also a follow up to the business done, especially at the major Film Festivals starting with Cannes, after which the real distribution strategy and implementation becomes almost a headache. And yet, the AMERICAN FILM MARKET provides more than a beach encounter whereby the distributors and film independents do business by buying and selling recently completed films. It does provide the kind of professional environment whereby those busy with the positioning their films in cinemas around the world, come willy-nilly to smooth around and befriend even more, for "trust" is the most important key in any relationship. And then, there are always the newcomers trying to infiltrate and capture at least a spot on the vast film trade business. With over 2,000 projects with 82 world premieres and 327 market premiers from 70 countries - which include films of every genre and budgets - the last AFM event showcased in November 2012, the introduction of more than 50 new exhibiting companies and over 120 buying companies, marking an increase impact of 10%! We also must add the new national organizations participants exhibiting from Australia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Russia and Thailand marking their ASFM debut.

By now, aside from the Film Festivals where new stories and talent are exposed, the AMERICAN FILM MARKET offers also top echelon conferences, the most important being the Independent Film & Television Alliance's Finance conference helping to build a global Film Financing Strategy. The other one's titles such as Micro Budgets, Pitch, Social Media and Video-On-Demand Conferences are well attended subjects of interest for both old and new comers. For only at such events, something new that can benefit the business pops up. Hence, due to its successful results, the AMF Management was solicited to help establish something similar in key world spots such as EU and Asia, and the way I hear there are talks for Africa as well. When asked whether such a move will not compete with AFM, I was told that not at all. On the contrary, it can stimulate even more business especially for the AIFTA/AFM Members and the American film industry in general, with their distribution and Co-Production abroad.

It seems that it has become a tradition for the AMERICAN FILM MARKET to peak each year with the help of its IFTA/ Independent Film & Television Alliance, the global trade association, that produces it. In 2012, it had over 8,000 industry leaders attending from more almost 100 countries. I am curious if these numbers will increase this year due to the fluctuating global economy and finance trends. But let us face it, the Film/TV Industry will always prevail given that, after all, it is one of the most economic ways of entertainment worldwide in whichever language, subjects and genre it comes, though it is the world of make believe. Hence, I am hardly waiting to see the finished product that both the Film Studios and the Film Independents will offer this year to conquer our hearts and our minds.

* * *

Ray Arco    6/23/2013


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