Almost 8,000 strong, those of AFM roamed the halls of Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel and Le Merigot Beach Hotel. Participants came from over 70 countries included not only producers but those in acquisition, development, and sales. The new media was highly represented as were distributors, festival directors, agents, attorneys, actors, writers and not to mention world press. Buyers, says executive vice president Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the AFM, came from Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Canada, South America, India, Japan, Turkey, Hong Kong, Korea, Russia, Israel, and the Middle East, to name a few There were deals happening every day and everywhere from the suites of the production companies to the networking parties, red carpet events and screenings (527 this year.) Considering our economic times, AFM executives were pleased
Founded in 1981, the AFM (presented by the Independent Film & Television – IFTA) has become the premiere global market place for independent films.
So what was selling this year and what did the production companies see moving?
Darrin Ramage, Brain Damage Films of Arizona, says that “blood, guts and boobs always sells.” www.BrainDamangeFilms.com -
Family – as the Air Bud movies from Keystone Entertainment - and suspense as the Yari film group’s Nothing But Truth and What Does It Kill You? were also popular as was the fantasy from Global Glow.
Another on the action thriller group was London’s Intandum Films. “We do films for 10-14 million,” they said, “and gave the example of Blown, an escape thriller with Samuel L Jackson or the Justine Stanley’s Sounds Like Teen Spirit
Lars Bjorck of Arrow Entertainment (Toronto, Canada) were hoping that spiritual uplifting and Christian films as the Left Behind series, would help people deal with the stress of the day.
Along those lines Eurovision Films had Sweet Baby Jesus, an action thriller.
Jhod Cardinal of the Canadian Insight Films www.insightfilms.com was pushing a new Hillary Duff film. (She is definitely growing up. )
NZ Films were pushing and screening their two newest – Dean Stanley and Vinter’s Wife at the same time they were trying to attract business to their shores.
Epic Pictures were encouraged by the reception of Deadline, and the Brittany Murphy and Thora Bick, Finding Amada, as well as their horror films, says Patrick Ewald. WWW.EPICPICTURES.COM
Other distributors and seller agents felt that the international market was saturated with horror and low budget indy films and wanted broad humor like KJ Films romantic comedy, Wasting Away, or Inferno films’s various escapism stories. Celsius and Mint –a UK/American company said they were staying away from horror this year and instead had 25 to Life and an action, Velvet Octopus.
Romantic Comedies were doing the trick for Ami Artiz of TriCoast International www.triCoastinternational.com.
Many independent filmmakers who did not rent suites roamed the halls looking for buyers for their own films as Martine Mayo with his horror thriller Discipline and Elaine Zicree a Voiceless Roar, her tale of dysfunctional family.
More information about this group can be found at www.ifta-online.org/afm