With the COVID-19 pandemic persisting, the American Film Market is launching its 41st edition Monday — and its first as an online-only event — with a record 562 exhibitors registered from 48 countries.

The United States leads the way with 259 companies followed by Italy (59), the United Kingdom (46), Russia (25), Germany (20), France (19), Canada (17), South Korea (14), Japan (12), and Thailand (11).

AFM, usually held at beachside hotels in Santa Monica, Calif., is following in the footsteps of the Cannes Market’s shift to a virtual platform in June. The Independent Film and Television Alliance also decided to cut the number of AFM days from seven to five and to push back the event from the first week of November to avoid a conflict with the U.S. election.

A total of 1,468 buyers from 66 countries have been confirmed with the largest number coming from the United States, followed by Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and Canada. A total of 465 films from 184 companies and representing 24 countries will be screening in the AFM’s On Demand Theatre.

The AFM will also present its largest programming lineup to date with 205 speakers from 20 countries across 71 sessions. The program begins Monday with the Future of Film Conference featuring conversations with Mark Gill, president and CEO of Solstice Studios and Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro; and Elissa Federoff, Neon’s president of distribution and Brent Lang, executive editor of film and media for Variety.

Jonathan Wolf, AFM managing director, said, “The global film industry has set aside this week to connect for deal making, presentations, and education, and to gather marketplace intel from one another. AFM’s engaging online experience, with the types of serendipitous meetings that happen organically in the halls, hotels and parties each year in Santa Monica, will keep everyone in touch and ensure that independent film continues to reach audiences around the world.”