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Secrets, surprises at AFM

Security changes, Weinstein raise questions

Global financial crisis or not, some things never change at the American Film Market — be they Troma’s Toxic Avenger wandering the corridors of the Loews Hotel, pots of room service coffee that cost nearly three figures or folks bemoaning the latest currency tectonics.

But change — and the anticipation of change — was evident in the first few days of this year’s confab.

For one, what’s with the new security arrangements?

Gone are the annoying bag checks that blocked the entrances of the Loews. Did the election of Barack Obama have an immediate reduction in the terrorist threat level? Or was security simply moved elsewhere? Every car entering the nearby beach parking lot was required to write out the driver’s name and have their parking ticket number checked against a register.

And what’s happening with the Weinstein Co.?

Bob and Harvey Weinstein‘s annual AFM bash is normally one of the high spots of the market night scene, allowing clients, press and other attendees to rub shoulders with stars of the company’s upcoming slate.

This year, while there was some buzz that the annual bash would not be held, it turns out the indie mavens were indeed having a party — but it was low key and strictly sans press. (“We didn’t bring the publicity team,” explained TWC’s resident booth babe.)

Since when did Bob and Harvey stop courting publicity?

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