Hurricane Sandy — fresh off of wreaking havoc on the East Coast — has caused plenty of problems for attendees of the American Film Market, which kicks off today. East Coasters and foreign attendees with flights connecting on the East Coast are seeing flights delayed and cancelled all over the place.
But the show must go on, and in sunny Santa Monica, California, it has.
We’ve broken down the AFM for you in bits & pieces (by the numbers).
8 days: The event will last from October 31-November 7. But you can bet your MG money that, by next Tuesday, the strip joints will be full and the hotel aisles empty.
3 main locations: Though screenings take place all over, the two largest AFM locations are the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel — the main headquarters, where exhibitors set up shop — Le Merigot hotel (with some exhibitors) and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, where conferences take place. Note: A cup of coffee at the Loews costs more than valet parrking.
5-day conference: The five-day AFM Conference Series (www.AmericanFilmMarket.com/conferences) will take place from 9:15 am – 12:45 pm daily from November 2-6, and will consist of a Finance Conference (Friday), Pitch Conference (Saturday), Marketing Conference (Sunday), Video-on-Demand Conference (Monday) and Micro-Budget Conference (Tuesday). Each day will include two sessions.
The conferences take 50 percent of people away from the hotel suites, but organizers did not yet figure out which 50 percent.
Among the topics that will be covered are: the state of independent film financing, emerging trends, the art of pitching a film project, innovative new media marketing campaigns, how to make money with video-on-demand, and how new micro-budgeting tools are redefining the film business.
Among the confirmed speakers are Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International; Ann Glenn, director of Social Media Marketing, Sony Pictures Interactive; Charlotte Mickie, EVP of International Sales, Entertainment One; and Lloyd Kaufman, president & co-founder of Troma Entertainment.
The series is in its second year.
50 new countries: There will be 50 new exhibiting countries at the AFM this year. National organizations from Australia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Russia and Thailand will also have a presence at AFM for the first time.
It’s a recurrent figure. In New York City it takes always 45 minutes to get anywhere, at the AFM there are always 50 new exhibitors.
420 films: AFM will screen more than 420 films in total, all around the Santa Monica area. The secret is to screen two different movies at the same time.
77 world premieres: There will be 77 world premieres, including A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, from writer/director Roman Coppola and starring Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Charlie Sheen (Independent); The Frozen Ground, starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens (Voltage Pictures) and The Numbers Station, starring John Cusack and Malin Akerman (Content).
77 is a good number. But how many of those have distribution already in place?
306 market premieres: Among the 306 films set to make their market premieres are Ginger and Rosa, starring Christina Hendricks and Elle Fanning (The Match Factory); Quartet, starring Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon, and directed by Dustin Hoffman (HanWay Films); Zaytoun, starring Stephen Dorff and Alice Taglioni (Pathé International); A Late Quartet, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken (WestEnd Films); The Reluctant Fundamentalist, starring Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber (K5 International); Revenge for Jolly!, starring Elijah Wood, Ryan Phillippe, and Kristen Wiig (Highland Film Group); Thanks for Sharing, starring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow (Voltage Pictures); and What Maisie Knew, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Julianne Moore (Fortissimo Film).
Looking for the “gem” is difficult. Also, they cost more than diamonds.
120 new buying companies: Representing a new high, 120 companies from 23 countries will make their market debut at the 2013 event. Countries with the most new buyers include Korea (25), China (13), United States (11), Japan (6), Turkey (6), and Russia (5), France (4) and Italy (4).
Great, but will they actually use money?