Indies pump up at AFM numbers

The American Film Market will screen 273 features, including 154 premieres, from Feb. 25-March 5 at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

At least 100 companies from the U.S., Europe and Asia will attend, up from last year’s 89.

“This is a clear indication that the independent sector of the film industry has turned the corner,” according to American Film Marketing Assn. exec VP and AFM exec director Tim Kittleson.

Pix skedded include Capitol Films Ltd.’s “The Trial” starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by David Jones; New Line’s “Amos and Andrew”; and Sam Shepard’s “The Silent Tongue.”

“I think we’re going to see better movies,” Kittleson told Daily Variety. “The new thinking is that instead of making five films at $ 3 million, they’ll make three films at $ 5 million. The international marketplace in the past five years has become much more sophisticated about what it’ll accept.

“We’re seeing a lot more foreign films this year.”

Other titles at the AFM include “Red Rock West” starring Nicolas Cage and Dennis Hopper; “American Heart” with Jeff Bridges; Manifesto’s “Map of the Human Heart,” directed by New Zealand’s Vincent Ward; Samuel Goldwyn’s “Peter’s Friends”; and Republic Pictures’ “Boxing Helena,” from helmer Jennifer Lynch.

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