The American Film Market has cut two days from its schedule and will run for six days, starting in November with its 41st edition.
The Independent Film & Television Alliance made the announcement Tuesday, saying that the reduction reflects the “changing needs of the global film industry” and reflects
AFM’s commitment to provide the most efficient and productive business environment.
“This move also supports a broader marketplace shift that has companies commencing sales early with deals started at film markets often finalized after the event concludes,” IFTA added.
AFM, which had been operating on a Wednesday-through-Wednesday schedule, will go with a Tuesday-Sunday schedule, starting this year with a Nov. 3-8 run. It will remain at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel through 2024.
AFM is one of the independent film industry’s key sales markets along with the European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival in February, the Cannes Film Festival in May and the Toronto Intl. Film Festival in September.
“While the film industry has changed drastically since we first launched AFM, markets are
essential as this remains a face-to-face business,” said Michael Ryan, IFTA Chairperson and partner at GFM Films. “Markets serve as a launching pad for new films and projects and they
bring the entire industry together to share marketplace intelligence.”
IFTA said the that the shorter timeline empowers AFM to continue offering the most effective experience for all segments of its attendees while retaining all of its programs, including screenings, conferences, and LocationEXPO.
“IFTA’s priority is to put forth programs and services that support and protect independents,” Ryan said. “This new AFM schedule is tailored to best serve the industry by allowing
participants who travel from around the world to better maximize their time and costs.”
The 2021 dates will Nov 2-7, followed by Nov. 1-6 in 2022, Oct. 31-Nov. 5 in 2023 and Nov. 5-10 in 2024.
The boom in streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon along with the emergence of new services from Disney, Apple and Warner Bros. has disrupted the traditional business model for the independent sector — which has used AFM as a means to sell off the international rights to finance projects.
November’s AFM saw the traditional independent projects with major stars generating interest among buyers such as Lionsgate buying Gerard Butler’s action-thriller “The Plane,” MGM’s acquisition of Jason Statham’s “Cash Truck” and Liam Neeson’s “Ice Road” selling out most markets. Jodie Foster showed up in Santa Monica to meet with buyers for STXInternational’s “Prisoner 760,” in which she portrays a defense attorney. Anna Faris stopped by for a meet-and-greet for the comedy “Summer Madness” for The Exchange.
The event drew 7,000 attendees. All told, the AFM hosted 375 exhibiting companies, including 77 new exhibitors from 22 countries