American Film Market (AFM) Five-Day Conference Series to Feature Broad Range of Key Hollywood, Global Players


Senior Executives from 20th Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One,

Gersh Agency, GK Films, ICM, Sony Pictures, Summit Entertainment

and United Talent Agency Among Participants

 



The 2011 American Film Market released its expanded Conference schedule with speakers encompassing a broad cross-section of key Hollywood and global players converging for the 32nd Market Nov. 2-9.

 

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Entertainment Partners will serve as the presenting sponsors of the AFM Conference Series, which will showcase panels on film financing, production, marketing, distribution and pitching. The five-day series will include prominent filmmakers, financiers and industry executives, covering all aspects of filmmaking from treatment to screen.

 



The Finance Conference will examine the current state of independent film financing, emerging trends, new opportunities and incentives. It features panelists including:

Ashok Amritraj, CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment; Doug Hansen, President, Endgame Entertainment; Robert Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Entertainment, L.P.; Patrick Russo, Principal, The Salter Group; Jared Underwood, Senior Vice President, Group Manager Entertainment, Comerica Bank Entertainment Group; Leon Clarance, Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Capital – a Reliance Entertainment Company; Bill Fay, Former President of Production, Legendary Pictures; Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President, Film & Television Production Planning, The Walt Disney Company; Bill Johnson, Co-Founder & Partner, Inferno Entertainment; Andrew Matthews, President, RKO Films and Bahman Naraghi, Chief Operating Officer, GK Films.

 

The Pitch Conference will look at the combination of art, science and salesmanship that means the difference between a film getting made and a project languishing on the shelf.  Then, in the AFM’s version of The Voice and American Idol, audience volunteers will pitch a panel of Hollywood decision makers who will give unvarnished feedback on each presentation. Panelists include: Tobin Armbrust, Senior Vice-President and Head of Production, Exclusive Media and Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/ Agent, with the session led by Good in a Room’s Stephanie Palmer.

 

In addition, the Marketing Conference, which will focus on engagement, new media marketing and how the consumer can be the most effective marketing tool when it comes to attracting a broad audience. The Production Conference will look at product integration in movies and strategies for seamlessly incorporating brands into the production process. The Distribution Conference will separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD, and examine strategies for managing and monetizing global platforms and changing release strategies.   

 



For additional information about all seminars and conferences, schedules, prices and venues, visit www.AmericanFilmMarket.com. The following is a complete list of panels set for this year’s AFM Conference Series:

 

Friday, 4 November, 2011:  9:00am – 1:00pm

 

Finance Conference

Leading 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.

 

Current Issues in the Production, Financing and Distribution of Independent Film

 

Moderator: P. John Burke, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

 

Panelists: Ashok Amritraj, CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment; Doug Hansen, President, Endgame Entertainment; Robert Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Entertainment, L.P.; Patrick Russo, Principal, The Salter Group; Jared Underwood, Senior Vice President, Group Manager Entertainment, Comerica Bank Entertainment Group

 

Global Infrastructure Opportunities and New Distribution Models

 

Moderator: Joe Chianese, Senior Vice President, Tax, Business Development and Production Planning, Entertainment Partners

 

Panelists: Leon Clarance, Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Capital – a Reliance Entertainment Company; Bill Fay, Former President of Production, Legendary Pictures; Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President, Film & Television Production Planning, The Walt Disney Company; Bill Johnson, Co-Founder & Partner, Inferno Entertainment; Andrew Matthews, President, RKO Films; Bahman Naraghi, Chief Operating Officer, GK Films

 

Saturday, 5 November, 2011:  9:00am – 1:00pm

 

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 first 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. They will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch - saying what worked, what didn't, and why. Warning: This session is not for the weak.

 

Presenter/ Moderator: Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room

 

Initial Panelists: Tobin Armbrust, Senior Vice-President and Head of Production, Exclusive Media; Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/ Agent

 

Sunday, 6 November, 2011:  9:00am – 1:00pm

 

Marketing Conference, sponsored by Mexican Film Commission

In the age of digital media, connecting with and engaging the audience in authentic, creative ways is critical. Word-of-mouth and friend recommendations can make or break the box office results.  The gurus behind the most successful and innovative new media 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.

 

Limited & Specialty Releases

 

Moderator: Mark Pogachefsky, Co-Founder and President, MPRM COMMUNICATIONS

 

Initial Panelists: Wendy Cohen, Director, Digital Campaigns & Community, Participant Media / TakePart; Jamie Patricof, Founder, Hunting Lane Films; Dennis Rice, Founder, Visio Entertainment

 

Wide Releases

 

Moderator: Pamela Rodi, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Publicity, Myriad Pictures

 

Panelists: Vincent Bruzzese, President, Worldwide Motion Picture Group at IPSOS OTX MediaCT; Tomas Jegeus, Co-President, International, 20th Century Fox; Karina Kogan, Chief Marketing Officer, BUZZMEDIA; Jack Pan, EVP, Marketing, Summit Entertainment

 

Monday, 7 November, 2011:  9:00am – 1:00pm

 

Production Conference sponsored by Multi Media Risk Inc.

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.

 

Brand Integration

 

Moderator: TBA

 

Initial Panelists: Eric Baum, SVP, Business & Legal Affairs for Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Xavier Kochhar, Managing Partner, MediaLink; Jordan Yospe, Counsel, Motion Picture, TV, and Brand Integration, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

 

Agents/ Packaging

 

Moderator: Paul Hertzberg, President and CEO, CineTel Films, Inc.

 

Panelists: Jay Cohen, Head of Packaging and Finance, Gersh Agency; Gary Randall, Co-Founder, Boardwalk Entertainment Group; Rena Ronson, Co-Head, UTA Independent Film Group, United Talent Agency; Hal Sadoff, Head of International and Independent Film, ICM; Eric Schotz, President and CEO, LMNO Productions

 

Tuesday, 8 November, 2011:  9:00am – 1:00pm

 

Distribution Conference sponsored by MACCS International bv

Why make a film if no one will see it?  Industry leaders separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD.  Then they will disclose their successful strategies for managing and monetizing the proliferation of global platforms and changing release strategies.  

 

Limited & Specialty Releases

 

Moderator: Steve Gaydos, Executive Editor, Variety

 

Panelists: David Fenkel, President, Oscilloscope Laboratories; Susan Jackson, President / Co-Founder, Freestyle Releasing; Charlotte Mickie, Executive Vice President, Entertainment One, Tom Quinn, Co-President, VOD and Digital TV, The Weinstein Company

 

Monetizing New Global Platforms

 

Moderator: Brad Kembel, Executive Vice President, International Distribution, Summit Entertainment LLC

 

Initial Panelists: Dan Cohen, Executive Vice President, Pay Television and Interactive Media, Disney – ABC Domestic Television; Jon Ferro, SVP Program Sales, Entertainment One; Erik Brannon, Analyst, IHS, Screendigest

 

 

About the AFM

The business of independent motion picture production and distribution – a truly collaborative process – reaches its peak every year at the AFM, when more than 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, premieres, networking and parties.  Participants come from more than 70 countries and 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.

 

Founded in 1981, the AFM quickly became the premier global marketplace where Hollywood's decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof.  Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed.  In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed – on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production – making the AFM the must-attend industry event.

 

The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world's producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs.  More information is online at www.IFTA-online.org.

 

 

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