What to Look For at American Film Market 2018

By Pickle  September 17, 2018

The American Film Market (AFM®) has announced the expansive programming lineup for its Conferences, Roundtables, Workshops, and Spotlight Events which will feature international industry experts, decision makers, and academics, and run alongside the AFM’s industry screenings and marketplace. This year’s market is taking place October 31- November 7 in Santa Monica.

AFM’s panel programming is anchored by its renowned five-day Conference Series which this year launches with The Global Perspective Conference. The half-day event taking place on Friday, Nov. 2 will open with a discussion between film industry leaders President/CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance®, Jean Prewitt, and Chairman/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America®, Charles Rivkin, on the major challenges and opportunities facing the film industry and how their organizations are addressing them. The opening dialogue will be followed by two panel sessions that will bring together high-level producers, financiers, buyers and distributors to discuss business strategies and how the marketplace is evolving.

Also new to the lineup is a half-day Conference dedicated to Blockchain set for Saturday, Nov. 3. The event will be moderated by Pepperdine professor and Forbes writer Nelson Granados, with presentations and discussions with companies that are transforming independent film financing, production, and distribution with this groundbreaking technology.

In addition, this year’s AFM Roundtables, which explore specialized and timely issues, will take place in a larger venue, the AFM Gallery at Le Merigot Hotel, and feature sessions and programming partners including:

– International Awakening: Investing in Gender Diversity for Expanding Audiences Around the Globe – Presented in partnership with Reframe
– Using Intellectual Property to Boost the Visibility of LGBTQ Characters – Presented in partnership with Outfest
– Boosting Your Micro-Budget – Presented in partnership with Slamdance
– Why Do Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t? – Presented in partnership with Dread Central
– Producing Passion Documentaries – Moderated by KCRW’s Matt Holzman

AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf commented, “AFM is the perfect environment for international experts, leaders and visionaries to engage in discussions and debates. Our expanded programming of more than 40 sessions will address the topics most important to AFM’s global participants.”

After a highly successful launch in 2017, the Writer’s Workshops will return to AFM. Helmed by UCLA and other academic instructors, these four workshops cover screenwriting and storytelling tips and techniques.

To round out the market’s panel programming, an array of Spotlight Events with topics ranging from Understanding Distribution in China to Working with the U.S. Guilds will join the AFM’s popular returning Conferences including Pitch, Finance, Production, and Distribution.

The American Film Market (AFM®) is the world’s largest motion picture business event. Over 7,000 industry leaders from more than 80 countries converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, networking and parties. Participants include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace – with over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space – where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than US$1 billion in deals will be sealed – on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

Participants may view more than 500 screenings of 300+ films – 29 new films every two hours – the majority world or U.S. premieres. Titles range from big budget blockbusters that will be released by the major studios to lower budget art and genre films recognized at international film festivals.

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