AFM Attendance Increases Among Eastern European, Asian Companies


Eastern Europe and Asia led the growth in companies attending the American Film Market this year, according to numbers released on Wednesday.
A vigourous American Film Market wound down on Wednesday with final representation from China, India and Singapore pace the growth from Asia, while Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia and Serbia were the growth leaders from Eastern Europe.
Overall attendance was up 6%, up to 7,659 from 7,246 in 2009. Buying companies were up by six to 664 and the number of buying execs was two less than last year at 1,417.
“The positive feeling in the halls is a direct result of production levels that are now in balance with marketplace demand,” said AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf, who also serves as executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.  “Buyers are pre-buying, assuring they will have a steady flow of films, which in turn assures producers that their films have been pre-accepted by the marketplace.”
Attendance among exhibitor-affiliated participants (including their executives, producers, talent and guests) finished at 3,321, down 1% from last year. Industry Attendees, a category that includes all non-buyers/sellers, jumped 23% to a record 1,988. Rounding out the other categories are guests (government officials, NGOs, AFI Fest filmmakers, etc.), up 11% to 753, and press, also 11% higher to 216.
Countries with more buyers at the AFM this year included Italy (+23%; 53 in 2010 vs. 43 in 2009), Sweden (+133%, 14 vs. 6), Russia (+31%, 42 vs. 32), China (+64%, 23 vs. 14) and Singapore (+32%, 25 vs. 19). Fewer buyers came from Netherlands (-18%, 27 vs. 33), Spain (-18%, 33 vs. 40), Argentina (-25%, 18 vs. 24) and Brazil, (-19%, 26 vs. 32).
Sellers, meanwhile, decreased 7% to 343, an across-the-board decline with no major shifts among countries.