The American Film Market: Here's What You Need To Know


1.) The Evolution of the American Film Market: A Retrospective

The American Film Market is a cornerstone event in the film industry, held annually in early November. Since its inception in 1981, the AFM has grown exponentially, with an average of over 7,000 attendees participating in the eight-day event. Participants hail from a diverse range of professionals in the film industry; everyone from acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, and festival directors come to attend the festival. Since 1991, the AFM has been held at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Behind the scenes, the AFM is orchestrated by the Independent Film and Television Alliance, representing the global community of producers and distributors of independent films and television programs. As the years roll on, AFM continues to serve as the cornerstone marketplace for the film business, as it averages $1 billion in distribution and financing deals. 

2.) Networking in AFM 2023: Top tips for filmmakers and producers

2023's American Film Market is filled with networking opportunities for all participants. Entering the conference, make sure to come in prepared. Research attendees, prioritize meaningful interactions over quantity, and leverage digital platforms for follow-ups. Remember, genuine connections often lead to fruitful collaborations. AFM isn't just about the present; it's about building relationships for the future. For attendees, attend the November 2 session on cross-border collaborations, where we will discuss how to create impactful partnerships that lead to powerful co-production. 

3.) What to know about the American Film Market before you go

This year's American Film Market will be held in Santa Monica, California, from October 31 - November 5, 2023. This is the premier conference for film acquisition, development, and networking. More than $1 billion in distribution and film financing deals are closed yearly. More than any other industry event globally, professionals congregate to develop, showcase, discover, finance, and license 1000s of independent films and projects destined for the world's audiences. For first-time visitors, attend over 30 panels and sessions, where established industry pros gather to discuss and share tips on networking, financing, and navigating the film industry's future. 

4.) AFM vs. Cannes: A Comparative Analysis of Film Markets

AFM and Cannes: two titans of the film industry. While Cannes often dazzles with its red carpet and highlight premieres, the American Film Festival often focuses on more business-centric interactions. The American Film Market is the most popular film acquisition, development, and networking marketplace. On the other hand, the Cannes Festival is the home for directors looking to start international film distribution. While the American Film Market will be frequented by directors and producers, the Cannes Festival will likely receive more media attention with its audience of rising and established stars.

5.) Financing Films at AFM: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities.

Securing film financing is a nuanced dance, and AFM is its grand stage. With evolving trends from crowd-funding to studio partnerships, filmmakers face both challenges and opportunities. At AFM, the key is adaptability: understanding the landscape, building genuine relationships, and presenting compelling narratives that resonate with financiers and audiences alike. For more nuanced information on financing in the film industry, make sure to stop by these three sessions: "The Content Audiences Want & The Industry Needs to Provide" and "Film Funding Today: The Benefits & Limitations of Global Tax Incentives" on November 1, and "Producers Pitching Their Projects, powered by AI Forecasts" on November 4, 2023. 

6.) A24 in AFM: What Should You Expect?

A24 Films is one of the fastest-growing independent entertainment companies in the film and television production industry. They're the company behind many of today's top hits, including Everything Everywhere All At Once, Midsommar, Lady Bird, and HBO's Euphoria. With A24 as a perennial exhibitor in AFM, keep an eye out for the projects they've invested in because, as history has shown us, these might be the next box office hit. AF is looking to redefine the indie movie industry in the post-pandemic, and the American Film Market is one of the best opportunities to catch a glimpse of what they're doing behind the scenes. 

7.) AFM Exhibitor List: Key Standouts

The American Film Market has always had some of the film industry's most popular production companies as exhibitors. Companies like A24, Neon, and Magnolia Pictures may be the brightest names, but that doesn't take away from any other exhibitors. Suppose you're looking for a more global reach through foreign film buyers. In that case, you'll likely want to get into a room with country-specific distributors like Mandarin Motion Pictures Limited and Media Asia Film Distribution Limited. If going country by country takes up too much time, book meetings with companies like Multicom Entertainment and VMI Worldwide - as their global reach makes it possible to transact in foreign territories. If you're attending AFM this year, don't just try to book meetings with the top distributors; do your research and find the best one for your needs. 

8.) Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities at The American Film Market

Want to get your brand out there at AFM? There are tons of chances to do just that. From sponsoring certain events to putting up ads on the event's app, it's a golden opportunity for companies to connect with folks in the film industry. This year, AFM offers a multitude of sponsorship and advertising opportunities, ranging from sponsored panels to branded lounges and even digital ads on the official directory. These platforms allow brands to reach a global audience of industry professionals, offering them a chance to align with the innovation and creativity that the market stands for. For brands eyeing the film industry, AFM provides an unmatched platform to showcase their vision.

9.) Attending AFM 2023

For the first time, the American Film Market (AFM) introduced a dedicated Buyer Liaison team to enhance the attendee experience. The Buyers Lounge, located in the Penthouse, offers a relaxing environment with daily refreshments from 9 AM to 6 PM. Attendees can now register for their AFM badges, with two types on offer: the standard Buyer Badge at $495 and the Buyer Badge Plus at $695, granting additional access to AFM Sessions. The package also provides exclusive benefits like early screening access, special hotel rates in Santa Monica, and a year-long Cinando subscription. If you're a screenwriter or director within the area, you wouldn't want to miss this. 

10.) The Key Takeaways From This Years American Film Market sessions

AFM 2023 was all about new ideas, bouncing back, and changing with the times. The big talks were about how virtual reality is mixing things up in the movie world, the push for more stories from different voices, and making movies after a tough time like the pandemic. A lot of people were also talking about making movies in a way that's good for our planet. And there's a new trend where computers (called AI) are helping to guess which movies might be the next big thing. This year's AFM showed an industry that's always changing but always exciting.