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The American Film Market, following Cannes’ lead, says they are planning a return to an in-person market in Santa Monica this year.
“I want to let you know that plans are well underway for an in-person AFM this year, taking place November 2-7,” AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf wrote in an email to industry executives. “California has fully reopened and we are optimistic that the travel restrictions still in place will be lifted soon.”
The AFM, like most film industry events in 2020, was forced to go online-only due to the coronavirus pandemic. But next month, Cannes’s Marché du Film will mark a return to face-to-face business, with an in-person market for film buyers and sellers on the Croisette July 6-15.
The AFM is following suit.
“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 wrote.
Many international distributors have been hesitant to return to in-person film markets, citing the “efficiency” of the virtual Cannes, AFM and Berlin markets of the past year, as well as worries about a new wave of COVID-19 infections. Concerns over the new, highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is spreading throughout much of Europe, could impact travel plans for Cannes.
AFM, which unlike Berlin and Cannes does not run alongside a film festival, could be most affected if the independent film industry decides to permanently shift most of its business online.
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