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IFTA Renews Jean Prewitt, AFM Topper Jonathan Wolf

The Independent Film and Television Alliance has renewed contracts for CEO and president Jean Prewitt and exec VP and American Film Market managing director Jonathan Wolf through 2018.

The eight-day AFM in Santa Monica will open Nov. 4 for its 36th year. The market is one of the top events for independent sales activity along with Berlin, Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival.

Last year’s AFM drew 8,000 participants from more than 80 countries with 700 screenings.

Since 2000 Prewitt has headed the global trade organization, which advocates on behalf of the independent film industry in areas such as market access, copyright protection and enforcement and net neutrality. Wolf has held the top AFM post since 1998.

IFTA decided in 2011 to keep the AFM in Santa Monica through 2017, spurning attempts to move the beachside film market to downtown Los Angeles. The conference has been headquartered at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel since 1991, and the prospect of a move from Santa Monica provoked resistance from participants who asserted that a downtown location would restrict participants’ ability to meet easily.

Dates for the upcoming editions of AFM are Nov. 4-11, 2015; Nov. 2-9, 2016; and Nov. 1-8, 2017.

“We could not be happier to have Jean and Jonathan continue on for the next three years,” said IFTA chairman Paul Hertzberg. “The pair’s steadfast commitment to the cause, visionary leadership, and insightful knowledge of the entertainment landscape has put IFTA and AFM at the forefront of our industry, and ensures that the interests of the global Independents are championed to great effect.”

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