The American Film Market (AFM) just concluded its 40th annual edition, which took place at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The hotel welcomed some 375 exhibitors into its suites for eight days, starting on November 6, 2019.
Luckily for all--and especially for Los Angeles residents--the wildfires that were closing in on the north end of Santa Monica prior to the AFM's start were put out and the area enjoyed sunny, summer-like days.
Opening day saw some chaos, not at the Santa Monica Loews Hotel but 16 kilometers south at LAX, the Los Angeles airport. Just prior to the AFM's opening, LAX authorities decided to move the taxi pick-up zone next to Terminal One, which caused long lines and hardships for those AFM participants arriving at the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal, which is at a considerable distance from Terminal One.
The AFM's organizer, the Los Angeles-based Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), touted its large number of conferences (four were about finance; one touched on pitching; two were about productions; two focused on television; and two more centered on distribution) and its two writers' workshops. More than 150 speakers were present for the 52 conference sessions scheduled.
But most exhibitors tended to gloss over all that, focusing instead on the number of buyers that were present at the event. The AFM can usually count on around 1,300 faithful buyers.
In terms of additional facts and figures, an estimated 7,000 participants were in attendance and of the 375 exhibiting companies, 77 were new exhibitors from 22 countries.
The United States had the biggest exhibitor presence with 160, followed by the U.K. (31), France (26), Russia (19) South Korea (17), Germany (12), Italy (8), Romania (8), and Thailand (8).
The AFM also hosted more than 400 screenings of 313 films from 114 exhibiting companies. A record number of 80 movies had their world premieres during the market. In addition, among the titles represented at this year's AFM there were over 25 films submitted for "Best International Film" at the Academy Awards.
In addition, this year, AFM organizers officially allowed companies to set up their sales offices outside of the Loews Hotel. The adjacent hotel, Le Merigot, no longer housed sales offices.
The market had two main components: Exhibitions and conferences. A separate component of the market was the Location Expo, which returned to the American Film Market, November 9--12, with 50...