The American Film Market (AFM®) today announced it will launch a new five-day conference program at the 2011 Market set for Nov. 2-9 in Santa Monica.  The inaugural AFM Conference Series will cover five topics spanning from treatment to screen.  The AFM’s 8,000 attendees will have the rare opportunity to hear from the industry’s global thought leaders, decision makers and experts who all converge annually at the AFM.

The AFM Conference Series, scheduled for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily from Friday, Nov. 4 – Tuesday, Nov. 8, will be comprised of the Finance Conference, Production Conference, Marketing Conference, Distribution Conference and Pitch Conference.   The AFM Conference Series will greatly enhance the experience for AFM attendees, offering tremendous value, knowledge, insight and direct access to global luminaries whom they otherwise would not find all in one place.  Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP will serve as the presenting sponsor of the AFM Conference Series.

In addition, AFM will introduce an Industry Conversations program comprised of 14 intimate, interactive and informative discussions led by visionaries, trendsetters and experts, which will be offered free to market attendees at 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. daily from Nov. 2-8.

“The AFM Conference Series and Industry Conversations are two significant initiatives that will bring greater value and benefit to our thousands of attendees,” said Jonathan Wolf, executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance and managing director of the AFM.  “The AFM is unique as it’s the only event in North America that attracts thousands of leaders in motion pictures from more than 70 countries, giving us the opportunity to curate terrific conferences with top talent from both Hollywood and around the world.”

The 2011 AFM Conference Series will consist of:

Friday, Nov. 4 – Finance Conference

Leading CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives converge to explore the current state of independent film financing: emerging trends, where the money is, new opportunities and incentives, and what the future holds.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – Pitch Conference 

A good pitch can get a bad film made and a bad pitch can leave a terrific project languishing on the shelf.  Pitching is part art (it’s creative), part science (needs to follow a tight script) and part salesmanship. Conference attendees will first learn the essential rules and tools of pitching from the experts.  Then, in the AFM’s own variation of The Voiceand American Idol, volunteers from the audience (you?) will pitch a panel of Hollywood decision makers.  They will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch – saying what worked, what didn’t and why. Warning: This session is not for the weak.

Sunday, Nov. 6 – Marketing Conference 

In the age of digital media, word-of-mouth and friend recommendations can make or break the box office results.  Connecting with and engaging the audience in authentic, creative ways is critical.  The gurus behind the most successful and innovative marketing campaigns discuss reinventing the marketing wheel, explore how the consumer can be the most effective marketing tool and reveal how to win over the broadest possible audience.

Monday, Nov. 7 – Production Conference

Brand integration and packaging often play an important role in the filmmaking process.  From big-budget blockbusters to art and genre films, the creative visions of directors, writers and producers are being supported, yet challenged, by these new business models and opportunities.  Agents, advertisers and producers disclose what is going on behind the scenes and how to seamlessly incorporate these new decision makers into the production process.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Distribution Conference

Why make a film if no one will see it?  Industry leaders disclose their successful strategies for managing and monetizing the proliferation of global platforms and changing release strategies.  They will also separate fact and fiction about limited & specialized releases, film festivals and straight-to-VOD.

The 2011 AFM Conference Series will be held Nov. 4-8 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.  For additional information, visit 

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