The American Film Market (AFM) will return in November as an in-person event, organizers have confirmed.
“I want to let you know that plans are well underway for an in-person AFM this year, taking place November 2-7. California has fully reopened and we are optimistic that the travel restrictions still in place will be lifted soon,” AFM MD Jonathan Wolf wrote in a email to industry practitioners.
“We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Santa Monica to reunite with the global film community, discover the newest films and projects, and connect and collaborate face-to-face with valued partners and new connections,” Wolf added. “Stay tuned for updates in mid-July on our plans and how you can make the most of AFM 2021.”
The 2020 edition of the market was online only, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It drew a record 562 exhibitors registered from 48 countries. The U.S. led the way with 259 companies followed by Italy (59), the U.K. (46), Russia (25), Germany (20), France (19), Canada (17), South Korea (14), Japan (12), and Thailand (11).
Some 1,500 buyers from 66 countries participated.
Though California has reopened, the Delta variant of the virus is spreading rapidly. The variant accounts for 14.5% of California cases in June, significantly higher than the 4.7% recorded in May, according to the California Department of Public Health.
On Tuesday, Health officials in Los Angeles County recommended, but did not make mandatory that people wear masks indoors in public places.
Cannes recently held a virtual market ahead of an in-person event that begins next week. While many independent buyers and sellers prefer the economy and efficiency of an online model, several old-school buyers are looking forward to in-person dealmaking sealed by a handshake.