The AFMA is well aware of the hornet’s nest it stirred up in Europe scheduling a second market in Los Angeles in late October.
But the organization is confident it will win converts for the added film bazaar once buyers and sellers experience the pleasures of balmy Santa Monica and calculate the effects of a less costly trade event.
Indeed, a combination of high costs and bad business started the get-rid-of-Mifed ball rolling at last October’s Mifed among AFMA members representing smaller firms.
The average per-company cost to attend Mifed is $70,797, com pared with $42,022 for AFM, according to AFMA statistics. The Mifed range goes from $27,000 for a small firm to $140,000 for a large one. Equivalent AFM figures are $12,100 to $67,000.
Returning from Milan, AFMA officials quickly launched the machinery for the membership to vote. Several alternatives were considered, but everyone knew the target would be Mifed. Members voted to hold a second market in Los Angeles in the fall, Oct. 21 to 27, in direct conflict with Mifed’s original Oct. 20 to 25 slot. To avoid the clash, Mifed shifted to Oct. 17-21.
Several Europeans, who asked not to be identified, denounced AFMA’s “arrogance” in its effort to undermine Mifed.
This is the third time AFMA has been accused of attempting to derail a European market. When it was organized 11 years ago, supposedly as an antidote to the high prices at the Cannes Film Festival and Market, AFMA unofficially tried to get its members to pass or downplay activities at Cannes. The effort failed.
Two years ago, with the American Film Market established as a strong market force, AFMA targeted Mifed, but the association’s officials at that time did not think it was a wise move. They set up a voting procedure that barely saved Mifed.
The desire to dump Mifed was so strong this time among the smaller companies that AFMA officers did not try to turn on a red light.