Indies a focus for AFM org

Independent Film & TV Alliance spotlights pics

Getting independent movies in front of consumers has become one of the top priorities for Independent Film & Television Alliance, the trade org that operates the American Film Market.

“It has become so difficult to get independent film on U.S. cable and TV networks,” said ITFA prexy and CEO Jean M. Prewitt Wednesday at an AFM press briefing. Prewitt said that org fears domination of the Internet by major corporate interests in a fashion similar to TV and theatrical sectors.

In order to combat such corporatization IFTA has significantly stepped up its campaigning activities. In the past year it made seven lobby representations in Washington DC, addressing issues of media concentration, ‘Net neutrality’ and vertical integration.

“We are keen to have the independents recognized as a separate voice,” Prewitt said. “Major decision makers now recognize that there are two separate views.” IFTA took opposite stance on Net neutrality to that of the Motion Picture Association.

Welcoming the Tuesday election of Barack Obama, Prewitt said IFTA was “gratified by the stances that Obama has taken on issues we have lobbied on.”

IFTA exec VP and AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf said that “the market is full” and that it had sold out all allocated sales offices in the Loews and Merigot hotels. Over the next week AFM will host 400 sales companies from a record 40 countries and screen 527 movies, its third highest ever total. “The trend in this market is that there is a slow increase in the number of non-English-language films and a correspondingly slow decrease in U.S. sellers of films,” he said, though added that American companies still account for roughly half the sales outfits present. With the number of Asain sellers up from eight seven years ago to 50 at this year’s market, “Asia is the biggest growth area for film right now,” Wolf said.

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