AFM 2012: Asia, Latin and South America Boost Buyers at Market

AFM Panel Audience - H 2012
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AFM Panel Audience - H 2012

UPDATED: Sellers and attendees also up over 2011; poor economy means fewer buyers from Europe

Traffic in the hallways was lighter than last year by most accounts and buyers complained about a lack of big titles, but the 2012 American Film Market did attract more buyers, sellers and attendees than last year, according to final numbers released Monday by the Independent Film & Television Alliance, which organizes the annual market and conference.

The eight-day event, which officially ends Wednesday, saw a 6 percent increase in buyers to 1,616 compared to 1,523 last year; and a 5 percent increase in buying companies to 753, from more than 60 countries.

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The number of exhibiting companies was on par with last year at 357. The increases came from Asia (up 14 percent) and Latin/South America (up 17 percent).

Not surprisingly, the biggest decreases came from Europe, where the currency  and economy have all been depressed in the past year. The number of buyers from France was down 16 percent, from Italy by 23 percent, from the U.K. by 16 percent, from Denmark by 26 percent, form Finland by 67 percent, and from troubled Greece by 31 percent.

The number of buyers from Germany rose 1 percent to 110, the fourth largest group from any individual country.

With the exception of Hungary which was up 40 percent (from 5 to 7 buyers), the Ukraine (up 80 percent) and Turkey (up 5 percent) most of Eastern and Central Europe was also down  including Poland (13 percent), Romania (100 percent), Serbia (33 percent), and Croatia (14 percent).

The number of U.S. buyers rose 16 percent to 327, and the number from Canada was up 78 percent to 41.

After the U.S., the largest number of buyers were from Japan (152, up 19 percent)  and Korea (138, up 19 percent) followed by Germany.

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Attendance by “affiliate” attendees, such as attorneys, bankers, festival programmers, film commissioners and financiers was 3,063. Overall the market drew more than 7,749 people.

The AFM reported that there were 442 films screened, which included 82 world premieres and 327 market premieres. There were more than 650 screenings in total of films from more than 30 countries.