In today’s film news roundup, AFM tells attendees that Santa Monica isn’t burning, the LA Film Critics honor Elaine May and MarketCast hires a Nielsen executive.


With less than a week before the American Film Market opens in Santa Monica, AFM has assured attendees that the beachside city has not been hit by the region’s wildfires.

The Getty Fire near the Getty Museum is the closest fire. The blaze, which ignited on Oct. 28, is about seven miles away from AFM headquarters at the Loews Hotel. It has now burned more than 700 acres, forcing evacuations from more than 7,000 homes.

“We would like to assure you that there are no fires in Santa Monica,” AFM said in a message. “Some media have referred to fires in the ‘Santa Monica Mountains.’ This mountain range is actually in Los Angeles, miles from Santa Monica. There is no threat to the Santa Monica business area.”

“You are welcome to view live video of Santa Monica and the AFM campus at PacPark.com/santa-monica-pier-live-cams/pier/ and PacPark.com/santa-monica-pier-live-cams/wheel/. To see the current air quality in the region, visit https://bit.ly/34dUZtc,” the organization added. “We wish you safe travels and look forward to welcoming you to the 40th American Film Market!”

AFM opens on Nov. 6 and runs through Nov. 13. More than 7,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.


The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen actress/writer/director Elaine May as the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Award.

The award will be given at the organization’s annual awards dinner on Jan. 11 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City. LAFCA’s other top awards will be decided by the membership on Dec. 8 and those winners will be honored along with May at the January event.

May directed “A New Leaf,” “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Mikey and Nicky” and “Ishtar.” She was nominated for the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “Heaven Can Wait” and “Primary Colors” and acted in films including “Enter Laughing,” “California Suite,” “In the Spirit” and “Small Time Crooks.” She won the 2019 Tony Award for best lead actress in a play in “The Waverly Gallery” and received the National Medal of Arts in 2013.

“Elaine May is a legend,” said LAFCA president Claudia Puig. “A brilliant multi-talented artist, she has brightened our lives with her extraordinarily funny body of work and has moved us with her collaborations with Nichols, Cassavetes and Beatty and, most recently, her Tony Award-winning turn on stage. We’re grateful for all her wonderful artistry, including her often uncredited, but essential, screenplay contributions.”


MarketCast Group has named veteran executive Graham McKenna as its chief marketing officer.

McKenna will head up MarketCast’s brand, product marketing, and communications efforts across its portfolio of data and analytics products and services.

McKenna comes to MarketCast from Nielsen, where he served as senior vice president of product marketing and was responsible for Nielsen’s product marketing efforts across its media measurement, sports, music, and metadata portfolio. He joined Nielsen following its acquisition of Gracenote, where he led the marketing and communications team and strategy through a period including acquisitions by Tribune Media and Nielsen.

“Graham is a world-class communicator and product marketer, and his experience in the data, technology, and entertainment space will be invaluable as we expand our product portfolio and position MarketCast for aggressive growth,” said John Batter, CEO of MarketCast Group. “Graham will be invaluable for scaling our marketing and communications efforts and imagining new ways to package and deliver our amazing research and data to clients.”