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AFM Conferences give attendees knowledge, insight, access, value and a rare opportunity to hear from the industry’s global thought leaders, decision makers and experts who all converge annually at the AFM. Everything is covered – from treatment to screen!

Thursday, November 3

China Conference

sponsored by 

China Beijing Film Delegation and Beijing Weying Technology Co., Ltd.


9:15am – 10:45am
Producing in China
Leaders from China’s film industry will reveal how producing in China can be different than the west. From talent and crews to culture and restrictions to the daily realities of producing and co-producing, everything will be covered.


Jonathan Landreth, Managing Editor, ChinaFile


Initial Panelists
Melanie Ansley, Producer/Co-Executive Director, China Hollywood Society
Bruno Wu, Founder/Co-Chairman and CEO, Sun Seven Stars Media Group Limited
Chengsheng (Mike) Mao, CEO, UNI Pictures Culture & Media (Beijing) Co.



11:15am – 12:45pm
Marketing & Distributing in China
Unencumbered by legacy infrastructures and business models, Chinese companies are reinventing film marketing and distribution on a massive scale. The companies that are leading this revolution will share their visions and disclose what the future holds.
Patrick Frater, Asia Bureau Chief, Variety


Yugang An, CEO, Beijing In-Entertainment Media Co., Ltd
William Feng, Head of Greater China, Vice President of Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association
Luke Xiang, VP and Head of International,  Beijing Weying Technology Co., Ltd.

Friday, November 4

Finance Conference I: The Future of Global Film Finance

9:15am – 10:45am
The 360 View

Leading CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives converge to explore the future of independent film financing, emerging trends and the impact of new platforms on global film finance.


Joe Chianese, EVP, EP Financial Solutions


Yolanda T. Cochran, Producer/Production Consultant
Micah Green, Co-Head, Film Finance, CAA
Myles Nestel, Co-Founder/Partner, The Solution Entertainment Group
Miguel Palos, CFO, IM Global



11:15am – 12:45pm
How Equity is Successfully Investing in Film

The film equity market is active with pro-investor models for high net worth individuals and private equity and hedge funds. This session will explore the deal structures that attract equity and the types of projects that generate the most interest.

Brad Sharp, CFA, Managing Director, Valuation & Financial Advisory Services, FTI Consulting

Kevin Frakes, CEO, PalmStar Media Capital, LLC
Mark Manuel, Partner, Kilburn Media
Richard Saperstein, Principal, Storyscape Entertainment
Robert Sherman, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Don Starr, Chairman & CEO, Grosvenor Park Media



MCLE Credit: One hour of MCLE credit is available for attorneys for the second session.
CE Credit: Three hours of CE credit is available for CPAs for the full Finance I Conference.

Saturday, November 5

Pitch Conference

sponsored by I AM FILM


9:15am – 12:45pm
Pitching Essentials
A good pitch can get a bad film made while a bad pitch can leave a terrific project languishing on the shelf. Pitching is part art (it’s creative), part science (it needs to follow a tight script) and part sales (you have to wow them). Conference attendees will learn the essential rules and tools of pitching from the experts.


The 2-Minute Pitches
Volunteers selected in advance will pitch to our expert panel. They will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch – explaining what worked, what didn’t – and why.


Pilar Alessandra, Instructor/Consultant, On The Page


Tobin Armbrust, President, Virgin Produced
Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/Agent


To be considered to pitch on stage, you will need to submit a 2-minute video pitch. For details on how to submit your pitch, read AFM Pitch Conference Guide To Creating An Effective Video Pitch.

Sunday, November 6

Finance Conference II: Funding Films Today

sponsored by Mexico City Film Commission


9:15am – 10:45am
Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets



Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32


Initial Panelists
Zanne Devine, EVP of Film & Television, Miramax
Paul Hanson, CEO, Covert Media
Mitchell Peck, Producer, Peck Entertainment
Michael Ryan, Partner, GFM Films


11:15am – 12:45pm
The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen
Our panel of experts will be presented with five film packages – each with partial or limited funding. They will explore and disclose how each film could be fully financed. Five case studies; five solutions.


Joe Chianese, EVP, EP Financial Solutions


Shirley Davis, Senior Vice President, Physical Production, Alcon Entertainment
Stefan Lütje, Partner, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange
Adrian Ward, SVP & Division Manager, Entertainment Industries Division, Pacific Mercantile Bank



MCLE Credit: One hour of MCLE credit is available for attorneys for the second session.
CE Credit: Three hours of CE credit is available for CPAs for the full Finance II Conference.

Monday, November 7

Production Conference

sponsored by .film


9:15am – 10:45am
Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace
Pre-Selling to territorial Buyers is key to financing most independent films. What are they looking for? Which genres and talent? How do you set a budget that will reflect the marketplace? Discover which projects are most likely to sell globally before they are made.


Paul Hertzberg, President & CEO, CineTel Films, Inc.


Tannaz Anisi, President, 13 Films
Paul Bales, Partner & COO, The Asylum
Tamara Birkemoe, President & COO, Foresight Unlimited
Eric Brenner, President, ETA Films
Caroline Couret-Delègue, Managing Director, Truffle Pictures



11:15am – 12:45pm
Working with Talent Agents
Most independent films hope to attach a name actor/actress. They help secure presales, raise production financing and foster interest with audiences and the media. Our panel of agents and producers will explore how to work with talent agents to get the best cast for your film.


Kevin Iwashina, Founder & CEO, Preferred Content


Mark Ankner, Partner, Global Finance & Distribution, WME
Jessica Lacy, Partner/Head, International & Independent, ICM
Maren Olson, Agent, CAA
Rena Ronson, Partner/Head, Independent, UTA

Tuesday, November 8

Distribution Conference

9:15am – 10:45am
Working with Sales Agents
To reach the global audience, an independent producer’s best ally is their international Sales Agent. Our panel of experts will discuss how to find and work with the right Sales Agent.


Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment


David Lancaster, Producer, Rumble Films
Douglas Mankoff, Producer, Echo Lake Entertainment
Kathy Morgan, President, KMI Films



11:15am – 12:45pm
The Future of Video On Demand

VOD is now the largest source of revenue for many films. Are we heading towards a future where all films will be available worldwide and where every film will be discoverable by its audience? Producers, distributors and platforms will disclose who is making money, how they are doing it, and what the future holds – separating fact from fiction.


Bruce Eisen, President, Digital Advisors


Steve Nickerson, President, Home Entertainment, Broad Green Pictures
Erick Opeka, EVP Digital Networks, Cinedigm
Hanny Patel, Vice President, Video Marketing, AT&T Entertainment Group
Meyer Shwarzstein, President, Brainstorm Media

Conference Location:

Fairmont Hotel, Starlight Ballroom – 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica  AFM Campus Map.
Doors & Will Call open at 8:00am.


Additional Information:

Speakers are announced as confirmed on this page.

Conference tickets may be ordered with or without an AFM badge. See Badges & Prices for more information.


For Speaking Opportunities: contact Janina Fischer.
For Sponsorship Opportunities: contact Robin Burt.


Parking: Participants are encouraged to take the AFM Shuttle to the AFM Conferences via the Green Line. The closest stop is in front of the Huntley Hotel conveniently located across the street from the Fairmont.


Valet parking or public lot parking is also an option:

  • Fairmont Miramar Hotel Valet – day rate is $16.50 per vehicle
  • City Lot, 1235 2nd Street – $14 all day