AFM Summary - a successful year

Location.  Location.  Location.  Not only is this principal important for real estate but for film making, as well.  Many new and foreign locations were present this year as New Zealand, Dubi, Jordan, Bermuda, Trinidad, Singapore, and Quebec.  Also en mass were the states that have large incentives to help the film maker.  Among those were Georgia, Wisconsin and Louisiana, both offering generous assistance not only in discounts in funding but also locating a technical savvy local crew.  Louisiana’s separate parishes also upped the 25% incentive even more by added an extra of 10% bonus for local hire.  Those filming in Central Louisiana (Shreveport) as opposed to Jefferson Parish (New Orleans area) can look to even further discounts.  Central Louisiana in Film Sherry Smith  800 551-9546 can tell you all about it, if you have any questions.  

AFM - West Virginia station

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

AFM - Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel

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.”  -
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 

AFM deal making

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 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. 

AFM - hotel interior

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.  

AFM - a spare moment

Romantic Comedies were doing the trick for Ami Artiz of TriCoast International

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

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