AFM: Attendance and Buyers Slightly Up Amid Sunny Skies

Buying companies total 779

In a reflection of the increased importance of independent financing, attendance at the American Film Market has sparked upwards by 2% with 7,876 participants at this year’s AFM.

The 34th edition of the market, which closes Wednesday after an eight-day run, saw 779 buying companies for a 3% increase and an uptick in overall buyers to 1,624.

U.S. buyers accounted for the biggest increase from 140 to 154. South Korea sent 68 buyers, an increase of five, and Spain saw 20 buyers this year, up from 14.

AFM was marked by consistently sunny weather at its beachside location at the Loews in Santa Monica.

The AFM Conference Series, which launched two years ago, drew more than 700 participants each day.

Exhibitor attendance stayed even with 357 exhibitors from 33 countries while attendance among exhibitor-affiliated participants slid 9% to 2,807. But industry attendees — excluding buyers and sellers but including attorneys, bankers, festival programmers, film commissioners, filmmakers, financiers, producers and writers — surged 21% to 2,606 due to expanded programs including the conference and the inaugural Producers Forum.

The AFM screened 402 films with 327 market premieres, 76 world premieres and a total of 627 screenings, including romantic comedy “The F Word,” starring Daniel Radcliffe; “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba, and “McCanick” with Cory Monteith.

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