With the 43rd edition of the American Film Market (AFM) set to open live in just under two months, the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) has announced initial details as well as two key hires for the 2022 show.
AFM will commence in Santa Monica, Calif., at the Loews Beach Hotel and theaters throughout the city Nov. 1 and run for six days through Nov. 6.
So far, 225 companies have registered as exhibitors for the sales market, including sales, production and distribution companies, as well as international trade organizations, film commissions and production service companies. Confirmed exhibiting companies include A24, Altitude Film Entertainment, Charades, CJ ENM, Contents Panda, Emperor Motion Pictures, Film Mode Entertainment, FilmNation, Gaumont, Gaumont, Global Screen GmbH, Hanway Films, Lakeshore, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, MGM Studios, Millennium Media, Pathé Films, Protagonist Pictures, Screen Media, Sierra/Affinity, Studiocanal, Toei Company, Ltd., TrustNordisk, Unifrance, Voltage, WME Independent and XYZ Films.
“The early commitments and excitement by companies around the world to be in Santa Monica, along with the projects coming together, say that the industry is back to business,” IFTA’s president and CEO Jean Prewitt, said in a statement. “While business models have clearly shifted, independent film will forever be built on discovery, collaboration, innovation and serendipity, making the need for annual face-to-face gatherings like AFM essential to our industry.”
Alongside the sales activity, the AFM offers conferences and opportunities to network. The AFM Sessions’ opening Finance Conference — “The Risk Takers” — will bring leading independent financiers, producers and executives Jason Cloth (founder and CEO, Creative Wealth Media), Milan Popelka (COO, FilmNation), Laura Lewis (founder, Rebelle Media), and Basil Iwanyk (founder, Thunder Road Pictures) to the stage the morning of Nov. 2. The AFM Sessions presented by Cast & Crew and Spcine will feature more than 100 speakers across two stages inside the Loews Hotel. The current schedule and speakers can be viewed here.
In addition, the IFTA announced new executive additions to its AFM team. Matthew Thompson and Catherine Girard-Cobb have been appointed to the newly created roles of co-managing directors of AFM, reporting to Prewitt. They join long-time IFTA VPs Jennifer Garnick and Robin Burt to develop and support the overall vision, operations and production of the AFM.
Thompson, who brings 25 years of event management and production experience, will oversee the AFM attendee segment and is responsible for registration, hotels, transportation, conference production and the networking platform MyAFM. He previously served as an event director and consultant for clients including Adweek, the Tribeca Film Festival, Nespresso and the Skirball Cultural Center.
Girard-Cobb, who will manage the AFM exhibitor experience, including registration, film screenings, and furniture and equipment, is a 20-year event veteran. She has successfully managed large-scale trade shows and live and virtual events most of her career, most recently for London-based Clarion Events, Quartz North America and Bobit Business Media’s 20 annual market-specific events.
“Matthew and Catherine bring a wealth of combined event experience in line with the AFM,” Prewitt said in a statement. “Their skills and insights complement our established and talented team and strengthen our ability to meet the changing needs of our industry as we look to our in-person return this year and the future.”