This year, the American Film Market (AFM) will once again take Santa Monica by storm when it kicks off on Wednesday, November 5. The event, which will be held at the Loews Santa Monica Hotel as the headquarters and the adjacent Marigot Hotel as an exhibition adjunct, will wrap a week later on November 12, and it will keep participants plenty busy in between. Here’s a rundown of the events you might want to catch between meetings.
The AFM Conference Series will run Friday, November 7 through Tuesday, November 11, from 9:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m. daily at the Fairmont Hotel in the Starlight Ballroom. It will feature conferences on topics such as finance, pitching, production, marketing and distribution. Taking place on Friday, November 7, the Finance Conference will be comprised of two sessions: the first session, titled “Current Issues in Film Finance,” will see CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and executives explore the state of independent film financing, upcoming trends and what’s in store for the future. The second session, “Building Your Global Film Financing Strategy,” will tell you everything you need to know about global financing structures and sources of film financing — namely incentives, subsidies and tax shelters.
The Pitch Conference, sponsored by Roskino and held on Saturday, November 8, will also feature two sessions: “Pitching Essentials” and “The 2-Minute Pitches.” The first session will teach participants the most important things they need to know about pitching, and the second session will see volunteers (selected in advance) pitch to a panel of Hollywood decision makers and receive feedback.
During session one of the Production Conference, titled, “Producing For a Worldwide Audience,” panelists will explain what a producer needs to do to give his film global appeal. The second session, “Accessing and Securing Talent,” offers insight into how to find the right talent to star in your film. This conference will be held on Sunday, November 9.
On Monday, November 10, participants can attend the Marketing Conference, with the first session covering “The Engagement Factor – Creating Effective Social Media Campaigns,” and the second about “The Role of the Publicist and Why You Need One.”
The Distribution Conference on Tuesday, November 11 will explore “Video on Demand: 2015” in the first session and “DIY Distribution: Finding Your Film’s Audience and Digital Niche” in the second.
The event this year will also see a number of Roundtables and Conversations, which will take place in the AFM Studio on the lobby level of the Loews. On Wednesday, November 5 and again on Saturday, November 8 is the “Conversation: How to Work the AFM with Jonathan Wolf, AFM Managing Director.” November 6 is the “Roundtable – Hong Kong: Asia’s Co-production Centre and Gateway to China.” A roundtable titled, “The Passion of the Film: Reaching the Faith Community” will be held on November 9, while a “Conversation with Adam Carolla: Road Hard — a Comedian’s Journey From Crowdfunding to Distribution” will take place during the afternoon that same day, and another roundtable, “African Co-Productions; The Possibilities and the Challenges,” will take place that evening. The last roundtable, “Distributing and Monetizing Documentaries,” will be held on the evening of November 10.
In addition, AFM will once again host the AFM Producers Forum, which is free to registered experienced producers, though space is limited to 400 participants. Those who participate in the AFM Producers Forum will have access to 16 educational sessions from November 8-11, as well as invitations to the Producers Forum receptions.