AFMA is changing its name to the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
The org’s rebranding, which officially takes effect July 1, is intended to reflect the worldwide spread of its member companies, and deflect any impression that its agenda is driven by American sellers.
However, the org’s primary event, the American Film Market, will retain its existing moniker.
The newly retitled IFTA was founded as the American Film Marketing Assn. 24 years ago by a handful of sales companies. It formally renamed itself AFMA in the early 1990s. Its chairman Michael Ryan and a quarter of its board now are based outside the U.S.
The AFM has moved this year from its traditional February date to November, bringing it into direct competition with the Mifed film market in Milan. IFTA is keen to disprove any suggestion that the date switch is designed to favor U.S. sales companies.
As part of that effort, IFTA is offering $3,000 per company to subsidize the travel costs of international exhibitors who bought space at the final February AFM this year and are returning in November.
The org also sees the AFM’s linkup with the AFI Fest as a move primarily to benefit the kind of European arthouse sellers whose movies are typically showcased by the festival.
“Two-thirds of the films in the AFI Fest usually come from outside the U.S.,” says AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf. “All the AFM sales companies will get festival credentials, and all the filmmakers in the festival will have market credentials, so they can come and pitch their movies and their new scripts.”