AFM: Elton John, Tom Hardy Meet Buyers On Eve Of Market

Buying companies, Chinese presence on the rise

Elton John and Tom Hardy have met with buyers in Santa Monica to tout the upcoming biopic “Rocketman” on the eve of the opening of the American Film Market.

Hardy came on last week to “Rocketman,” produced by Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish of Rocket Pictures and Lawrence Bender for AI Films and Michael Gracey directing. Good Universe is handling international sales at AFM.

AFM will open Wednesday amid several robust indicators — a six-year high of over 8,000 participants, 100 new buying companies and a record number of companies from the booming Chinese market.

“It’s safe to say that we are going to be able to say that the Chinese presence at AFM is increasing for the next decade,” AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf told Variety. “The big question is whether the Chinese market will evolve to be like the U.S. market and dominated by global titles or become more like the Indian market with a focus on local titles.”

The eight-day market will screen 405 films, including 321 market premieres and 75 world premieres from 51 countries. Daniel Radcliffe’s romantic comedy “The F Word,” Idris Elba’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and Cory Monteith’s “McCanick.”

The conference series and seminars will include more than 30 sessions, featuring over 100 industry leaders. Mark Burnett has been set to appear at a family and faith-based seminar Sunday.

Other speakers include Mark Canton, Adam Carolla, Cassian Elwes, Ryan Kavanaugh and Aaron Ryder of FilmNation. AFM has launched a Producer’s Forum section that starts Saturday.
“It’s incumbent on AFN to create opportunities for people to meet face to face since this industry is so collaborative, more so than any other,” Wolf said.

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