The American Film Market’s 41st edition will be online rather than in person, the Independent Film & Television Alliance has announced, following in the footsteps of last month’s Cannes Virtual Market.
IFTA also announced Monday that AFM 2020 Online will run over five days from Nov. 9 to Nov. 13, shifting one week later than originally scheduled, so as not to overlap with Election Day on Nov. 3 in the United States.
“By making this announcement four months in advance, AFM’s stakeholders can move forward and plan with certainty,” said Michael Ryan, IFTA chairman. “AFM 2020 Online will give the global film community the opportunities that are always critical to our success — to meet, share knowledge, collaborate, and discover tomorrow’s films as they do every year in Santa Monica.”
The full program and participation details will be unveiled later this summer, IFTA said. 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. Cannes was shifted to a virtual festival due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Toronto festival announced last month that it would shift to a hybrid of physical screenings and virtual events. It unspools between Sept. 10 through Sept. 19 and will include screenings of roughly 50 films during its initial five days — subject to approval by city and provincial health officials.
IFTA had announced in February that it would cut two days from the market and then announced in May that it would go ahead with the market in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. AFM will remain at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel through 2024.