The 2011 American Film Market will conclude its Nov. 2-9 run on Wednesday with buying companies rising 8% to 718 from 664 in 2010; buying executives up 7% to 1,523 vs.1,417 a year ago; and overall attendance climbing 4% to 7,988 versus 7,695 in 2010.

“We are thrilled with the strong growth in buyers – it’s our most important metric — and selling out the new AFM Conference Series in its first year underscores the AFM’s relevance to the production community,” said AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf, who also serves as executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.

Industry attendees, the category that includes all non-buyers/sellers, jumped 21% to a record 2,402 from 1,988 last year. Attendance among exhibitor-affiliated participants (including their executives, producers, talent and guests) finished at 3,219, down 3% from last year’s total of 3,321. Among guests (government officials, NGOs, AFI FEST filmmakers, etc.), the category finished down 14% to 658 from 753 in 2010; there were 186 press attendees.

Countries with more individuals from buying companies at the market this year included China (+61%, 37 vs. 23), Germany (+38%, 109 vs. 79), the United Kingdom (+16%, 73 vs. 63), South Korea (+15%, 116 vs. 101) and Japan (+11%, 128 vs. 115). Among regions, the Middle East rose 35%, to 42 from. 31, while Asia grew 17%, from 407 to 348.

Among individual countries, China posted the most growth for buying companies (+50%, 21 vs. 14), followed by Germany (+39%, 46 vs. 33) and France (+18%, 40 vs. 34). The U.S. was up 8% to 137 from 127 the previous year.

Exhibiting companies saw an increase of 4% (356 vs. 343) with no major shifts among countries.

Others AFM highlights included:

•           415 films screened

•           69 world premieres

•           310 market premieres

•           28 films screened in 3D

•           Films from 35 countries

•           More than 700 total screenings

The new five-day AFM Conference Series showcasing sessions on financing, production, marketing, distribution and pitching attracted sold-out audiences of 600-700. Additionally, the inaugural Industry Conversations Series — intimate, interactive and informative discussions with visionaries, trendsetters and experts of the film industry — delivered many prominent speakers, including Director/Writer Rob Reiner; Producer Lauren Shuler Donner; Kevin Pollak; Selma Blair; Emmy-winning “Amazing Race” Co-Creator and Executive Producer Bertram van Munster; and Rodrigo Guerrero Rojas, the renowned Columbian producer of “Maria Full of Grace.”

For the complete AFM 2011 buyer analysis, please see the attached document.

About the AFM

The business of independent motion picture production and distribution – a truly collaborative process – reaches its peak every year at the AFM, when more than 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, premieres, networking and parties.  Participants come from more than 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Founded in 1981, the AFM quickly became the premier global marketplace where Hollywood’s decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof.  Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed.  In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed – on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production – making the AFM the must-attend industry event.

The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world’s producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs.  More information is online at www.IFTA-online.org.