American Film Market Announces Conference Details

AFM reveals partial lineup details relating to its five-day conference in Santa Monica taking place in November.

Looking to expand and improve on its conference programming, the American Film Market will present a five-day conference program during the 2011 market covering finance, production, marketing, distribution and pitching program and movie ideas.

The market, expected to attract about 8,000 attendees,  takes place Nov. 2 through 9 in Santa Monica, and the conference will run simultaneously. The AFM is also introducing a “Industry Conversations” program which organizers promise will be “led by visionaries, trendsetters and experts.”

Jonathan Wolf, executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance and managing director of the AFM called the new conferences significant initiative and said they will add value for attendees, adding: “The AFM is unique as it’s the only event in North America that attracts thousands of leaders in motion pictures from more than 70 countries, giving us the opportunity to curate terrific conferences with top talent from both Hollywood and around the world.”

The presenting sponsor of the conference will be Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. 

The 2011 AFM Conference Series will consist of:

  • Friday, Nov. 4 – Finance Conference - CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives converge to explore the current state of independent film financing: emerging trends, where the money is, new opportunities and incentives, and what the future holds.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5 – Pitch Conference - A good pitch can get a bad film made and a bad pitch can leave a terrific project languishing on the shelf.  Pitching is part art (it’s creative), part science (needs to follow a tight script) and part salesmanship. Conference attendees will learn the essential rules and tools of pitching from the experts.  Then, in the AFM’s own variation of The Voice and American Idol, volunteers from the audience (you?) will pitch a panel of Hollywood decision makers who will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch – saying what worked, what didn't and why. Warning: This session is not for the weak.
  • Sunday, Nov. 6 – Marketing Conference - In the age of digital media, word-of-mouth and friend recommendations can make or break the box office results.  Connecting with and engaging the audience in authentic, creative ways is critical.  The gurus behind the most successful and innovative marketing campaigns discuss reinventing the marketing wheel, explore how the consumer can be the most effective marketing tool and reveal how to win over the broadest possible audience.  
  • Monday, Nov. 7 – Production Conference - Brand integration and packaging often play an important role in the filmmaking process.  From big-budget blockbusters to art and genre films, the creative visions of directors, writers and producers are being supported, yet challenged, by these new business models and opportunities.  Agents, advertisers and producers disclose what is going on behind the scenes and how to seamlessly incorporate these new decision makers into the production process.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Distribution Conference  - Why make a film if no one will see it?  Industry leaders disclose their successful strategies for managing and monetizing the proliferation of global platforms and changing release strategies.  They will also separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD.