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AFMA revamp OK’d; market signups brisk

American Film Marketing Assn. directors approved the general strategy of a proposed reorganization of the group yesterday, as its top exec lauded a strong early signup for the spring indie market.

AFMA chairman and chief executive Michael Goldman called yesterday’s vote by the board and executive committee members the first major step in AFMA’s plan to boost membership and tailor the structure and fees more to individual members. It is a restructuring the org has been considering since last summer.

“This is still subject to membership approval in the general sense,” said Goldman. “What has been approved is the mission of this plan as well as its five basic goals.”

The mission, he said, “is for AFMA to assist its member companies in fostering the development and acquisition of audio visual product, as well as easing the worldwide marketing and distribution of that product in ways that no company could do individually.”

Goldman noted that the mission has to be general in scope.

As for the goals, the first focuses on programs and services, the second is to provide a criteria for AFMA membership, third is to assure current and future fiscal funding, fourth highlights the image of AFMA and its members to the international film community and to other governmental bodies which affect them, and fifth is the structure and governance goal.

The general membership is expected to vote on the goals and mission the last day of the American Film Market, which runs Feb. 25-March 5.

“This is a 3-year plan. The next step is the refinement of strategy, by first identifying the tasks and giving them priority,” Goldman added.

Separately, AFMA prexy and AFM exec director Tim Kittelson said he was optimistic over the early sign-ups for the spring market. By the beginning of last year’s AFM, 209 offices had been sold. To date, 92 AFMA members, 14 affiliate financial institutions, 87 non-members and eight market affiliates have signed up.

Eighty-eight international selling companies have taken office space, 11 more than last year.

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