NOVEMBER 1 - 6, 2022 • Santa Monica

Programs & Events

Programs & Events – 2019 Archive

Access requirements for each track are different. See below for details.

Download the Schedule-At-A-Glance.


presented by 


AFM Conferences offer attendees knowledge, insight, access and a rare opportunity to hear from the industry’s global thought leaders, decision makers and experts. Access with a Qualifying Badge or ticket.

Finance Conference I

Friday, November 8     |     9:15am – 12:45pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

The Future of Film

An exploration of the future of independent film, emerging marketplace trends, global film finance, and the impact of streaming platforms.

A Conversation With BRON Studios
BRON’s filmmaker-first approach has helped the company solidify its creative relationships. BRON is at the forefront of Hollywood deal-making, from slate financing deals with MGM and Warner Bros to securing financing and distribution for their own properties. BRON continues to invest in incredible creatives, companies and important stories as it heads towards its tenth year anniversary in 2020. BRON has been behind such films as Fences, The Mule, The Addams Family, Tully, and most recently Joker.

Aaron L. Gilbert, Chairman & CEO
Ashley Levinson, Chief Strategy Officer
Anjay Nagpal, Chief Content Officer

A Conversation With
Jeffrey Greenstein, President, Millennium Media, Inc.
Alan Siegel, President & CEO, Alan Siegel Entertainment

Scott Roxborough, European Bureau Chief, The Hollywood Reporter

Breaking the Mold: The Innovators

Film industry trailblazers, whose companies are transforming traditional business models, share their insights on the future of filmed entertainment.

Erik Feig, Founder & CEO, PICTURESTART
Tim League, Founder & CEO, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios, Wattpad
Christian Parkes, Chief Marketing Officer, NEON

Amy Friedlander Hoffman, Investor & Former Head of Business Development & Experiential Marketing, Uber

Pitch Conference

sponsored by Creative Industries Division, State of Hawaii

Saturday, November 9     |     9:15am – 12:45pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

Pitching Essentials: The 2-Minute Pitch

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 essential rules and tools of pitching to a room as volunteers, selected in advance, pitch their ideas to our panel of experts. Panelists will give unvarnished feedback on each pitch – explaining what worked, what didn’t – and why.

Tobin Armbrust, Producer, former President, Worldwide Production & Acquisitions, Virgin Produced
Effie Brown, Producer, Duly Noted, Inc.
Cassian Elwes, Producer, ELEVATED

Lee Jessup, Screenwriting Career Consultant & Coach,

Finance Conference II

Sunday, November 10     |     9:15am – 12:45pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets

Production quality and talent are more crucial than ever. Producers need to be strategic with their budgets – talent, locations, special effects, crew, everything! Seasoned producers and experts share their advice on how to stretch budgets and get every dollar, euro, pound, yen or franc “on the screen.”

Jason M. Berman, President, Development & Production, Mandalay Pictures
Jordana Mollick, Partner/Producer, Semi-Formal Productions
Heather Rae, Principal/Producer, Iron Circle Pictures
John Zois, EVP, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Anton

Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32

The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen

Using real-world examples, our panel will explore and disclose how films with partial funding can be fully financed.

Ryan Broussard, VP, Sales & Production Incentives, Media Services
Maurice Fadida, Equity Investor / Producer, Kodiak Pictures
Vanessa Roman, Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
Nick Spicer, Partner, XYZ Films

David Offenberg, Associate Professor of Entertainment Finance, Loyola Marymount

MCLE Credit: One hour of MCLE credit is available for attorneys for the second session.

Production Conference

Monday, November 11     |     9:15am – 12:45pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

Producing for the International 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.

Miranda Bailey, CEO, Cold Iron Pictures
Sherryl Clark, President, Production, The H Collective
Mark Gooder, Co-President, Cornerstone Films
Nat McCormick, EVP, Worldwide Distribution, The Exchange

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

Casting for a Greenlight

Attaching talent to your screenplay doesn’t guarantee that you will get your film financed, but it can certainly increase your chances. Producers and casting directors reveal what it takes to attract talent and get them attached before the financing is in place.

Bradley M. Gallo, Chief Creative Officer, Amasia Entertainment
Jessica Kelly, Casting Director, Chrystie Street Casting
Christopher Lemole, Co-Founder / Producer, Armory Films
Heidi Levitt, Casting Director, Heidi Levitt Casting

Ryan Koo, Founder, No Film School

Television Conference

Monday, November 11     |     2:30pm – 6:00pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

Made-for-TV Movies: Expanding Opportunities for Independent Filmmakers

The demand for Made-for-TV Movies is exploding. Cable networks and streaming platforms are now producing, commissioning and acquiring hundreds films every year. Active production companies share their insights on what sells, budgets, and how to get in the door.

Paul Bales, Partner, The Asylum
Pierre David, Chief Strategy Advisor & Producer, ReelOne/Lance Entertainment
Brad Krevoy, CEO, Motion Picture Corporation of America
Chevonne O’Shaughnessy, President, American Cinema International
Tony Vassiliadis, Chief Operating Officer, MarVista Entertainment

Michael Schneider, Senior Editor, TV Awards, Variety

Upfront: Presentations from Networks and Platforms

From holiday stories and family feel good to genre and sci-fi, original Made-for-TV-Movies are in high demand. Cable and VOD platforms will present their feature-length programming needs and priorities, and reveal how to get them interested in your project.

Lauren Kisilevsky, Vice President, Original Movies, The Disney Channel
Tia Maggini, Vice President of Programming, Lifetime Original Movies
Mike Stiller, VP, Development & Programming, The History Channel

Distribution Conference

Tuesday, November 12     |     9:15am – 12:45pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

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.

Maximilian Leo, Founder / Producer, augenschein Filmproduktion
Vanessa Saal, Managing Director, Sales & Distribution, Protagonist Pictures
Emma Slade, Independent Producer, Firefly Films

Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment

The Rise of AVOD

Advertising Supported VOD is rapidly expanding with revenues projected to double by 2024. Get to know the players, the opportunities for independent film, and what the future holds.

Floris Bauer, President, Gunpowder & Sky
Julian Franco, Senior Director, AVOD, Vudu
Anthony Layser, Vice President, Partnerships & Programming, Xumo
Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi TV
Jeff Shultz, Chief Business Officer, Pluto TV

Bruce Eisen, President, Digital Advisors

MCLE Credit: One hour of MCLE credit is available for attorneys for the second session.

Additional Information
Doors for morning sessions open at 8:00am.
Will Call for morning sessions is open from 8:00am-11:30am
Will Call for afternoon sessions is open from 1:30pm-4:00pm


Learn how to shape your screenplay into a compelling narrative that will resonate with studios, investors and a global audience. Access with a Qualifying Badge or ticket.

Writers Workshop

Sunday, November 10     |     2:30pm – 6:00pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

You Had Me at Page One

Make the reader love you on the first page! Learn writing techniques that help your script hit the ground running. Through examples from your favorite scripts, we take a hard look at word choice, scene direction, dialogue approach, and the nuances of the page.

Pilar Alessandra, Author/Consultant, On the Page

The Art of Cinematic Superstructure: Finding the Essential Turning Points in Your Screenplay

One of the greatest challenges facing all screenwriters, directors and producers is the process of developing an engaging premise into a compelling, well-structured story. This workshop explores the art of superstructure, those essential narrative turning points that have held together great stories not only throughout the history of filmmaking, but since Shakespeare and The Greeks. From your opening scene to midpoint to your screenplay’s emotionally engaging climax, you will learn how each of these critical scenes work in synthesis with one another and in the process avoid the pitfalls of the poorly structured story. The final goal of the workshop is a greater understanding of what holds any great story together and a set of tools that participants can immediately apply to their current screenplay.

Steven Wolfson, Screenwriter/Instructor, UCLA



A collaborative and educational event for creatives, buyers, sellers and innovators of the Extended Reality (XR) industry. Access with any AFM badge or Immersive Summit ticket.

Immersive Summit presented by Winston Baker

sponsored by National Research Group

Saturday, November 9     |     2:30pm – 6:00pm     |     Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

The XR Content Market: Where Do We Go From Here?

The immersive market is at a standstill. There’s been limited progress on the hardware side and market demand continues to be a challenge. So if you’re a storyteller, producer, financier or distributor in this space, where do you go from here? Do you wait until companies such as Magic Leap, Sony and Facebook finally release devices that are truly consumer-ready? If so, how do you stay afloat? Are there underlying opportunities to pivot to? And as a community, is there a way to rally together and build the demand? Gain insight from these industry leaders:

Jennifer Chavarria, Head of Studio, Kite & Lightning
Ciro Donalek, CTO and Co-Founder, Virtualitics
Rick Hack, Head of Media & Entertainment Partnerships, Intel 
Laura Hertzfeld, Director of XR Partnerships, Verizon Media’s Yahoo! News
Randal Kleiser, Film Director, Randal Kleiser Productions
Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Pictures
Eunice Shin, Partner, PROPHET
Illya Szilak, Interactive Storyteller, Cloudred
Baba Uppal, SVP, Strategy & Business Development, Secret Location
Lauren Xandra, Head of Strategic Initiatives, National Research Group

Summit Producers
Katherine Winston, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Winston Baker
Amy Baker, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Winston Baker

Additional speakers to be announced shortly.


The Palisades Stage hosts discussions that explore specialized topics and timely issues, and presentations from industry experts. Access with any AFM badge until full. Due to limited space, tickets are not available.


Wednesday, November 6     |     3:00pm – 4:30pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Learn how the market works and the best way to connect with the AFM’s 400+ production/distribution companies. We recommend reading How to Work the AFM in advance.

Jonathan Wolf, Managing Director, American Film Market

The Importance of the Script Supervisor from Pre-Production through Production

Saturday, November 9     |     9:30am – 11:00am     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Script Supervisors are the right hand person to the director, their notes are sent to the editorial room daily, and they oversee all continuity from all departments from script to screen. This session presents an overview of the skills and duties of the continuity/script supervisor and what they bring to a project. Find out why it is so essential to know who this person is, what they do to keep your film’s vision on track, and why they are such a valuable member of your crew.

Randi Feldman, Founder, Cinema Workshops

Animals in Film: From Script to Screen

Saturday, November 9     |     11:30am – 1:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

From background performers to principle characters, animal actors fill every niche human actors do and more. They add drama and comedy, advance plots, complicate stories and dress sets. This session will peek inside the wacky world of animal people – how the world works – and how to feel comfortable in that world. It will cover the multiple roles animals play from the “Oh! Sh*t” moment you realize you have an animal in your script to the “Oh! Sh*t” moment you realize you need that animal on the publicity junket and red carpet.

Mark Harden, Senior Trainer, Animals for Hollywood
with an appearance by Benny, K9 Actor, “Adored,” “Dog Days”


Saturday, November 9     |     3:00pm – 4:30pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Learn how the market works and the best way to connect with the AFM’s 400+ production/distribution companies. We recommend reading How to Work the AFM in advance.

Jonathan Wolf, Managing Director, American Film Market

Audiences Want More: Bringing Diverse Projects to the Marketplace

presented in partnership with ReFrame

Saturday, November 9     |     5:00pm – 6:30pm     |     Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

For risk averse investors and distributors, the long standing rule says stick to mainstream scripts, recognizable talent, accepted values. But today’s audiences say rules are meant to be broken – they reward the new, the diverse, the challenging. Panelists discuss how to navigate the process to get these films financed, produced, and distributed to the viewers that are waiting.

Zanne Devine, CEO, Pacific Northwest Pictures & President, Montana Pictures
Cassian Elwes, Producer, ELEVATED
Glen Basner, CEO, FilmNation Entertainment
Monica Levinson, President of Production, ShivHans Pictures

Jane Fleming, Partner, Court Five Productions

Shooting Intimate Scenes

Sunday, November 10     |     9:30am – 11:00am     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

The importance of safety on set while shooting intimate scenes has come sharply into focus in recent years thanks to the #MeToo movement. Some of the topics to be covered include: what does an intimacy coordinator do and how does the process work, what are the SAG nudity guidelines, closed set best practices, dealing with nudity riders, how to be an on-set advocate and ally for LGBTQ+ cast members, and how to make your sets safer even if you can’t afford an intimacy coordinator.

Amanda Blumenthal, Intimacy Coordinator, “Euphoria,” “The L Word: Generation Q,” “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and Founder of Intimacy Professionals Association

Building a Marketing Toolkit for Independent Features

Sunday, November 10     |     11:30am – 1:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Motion picture marketing executives will walk you through the key pieces of a successful marketing plan and how the filmmaker can help deliver the necessary elements. Marketing opportunities on every film are frequently overlooked by filmmakers during production. Learn how to capture everything needed for the ideal marketing toolkit.

Russell Schwartz, President, Pandemic Marketing Group
Katherine MacDonald, SVP, Animation, Paramount Pictures

The Passion of the Film: Reaching the Faith and Family Community through Film Festivals

Sunday, November 10     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Film festivals play an important role in consumer marketing. They create awareness, frequently generate positive reviews, and a “festival selection” helps brand the film. This discussion will explore the festivals and strategies to best reach the faith & family community.

Emmanuel Itier, President, The Wonderland Group, Producer, “The Invocation,” “Femme”
Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, Director, Pauline Center for Media Studies & member of Ecumenical Juries: Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Locarno Festival, more
Suzy Sammons, Executive Editor, The Giving Company; including,, iDisciple, and Christian Cinema
Gregg Schwenk, CEO/Executive Director, Newport Beach Film Festival

Barbara Mudge, President & Founder, Worldwide Film Entertainment

Seizing the Moment: Producing LGBTQ Content in a Time of Unprecedented Visibility

presented in partnership with Outfest

Sunday, November 10     |     5:00pm – 6:30pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

In a time of unprecedented success for LGBTQ content in film and television, this panel gathers Industry talent and executives to discuss how filmmakers can continue to increase the visibility of queer-centered narratives at all budget levels, create successful projects that center on queer lives rather than simply add queer characters on the sidelines, and how to navigate the still-present roadblocks to getting your LGBTQ project produced.

River Gallo, Writer/Director/Star, “Ponyboi”
Stephen Kelliher, Director, Sales & Marketing, Bankside Films
Keya Khayatian, Partner, United Talent Agency
LaShawn McGhee, Co-Founder & CPO, Revry

Valerie Stadler, Partner,  Big Swing Productions; Outfest Board of Directors

The Director/Producer Relationship

Monday, November 11     |     9:30am – 11:00am     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Learn the best ways directors and producers can work together to ensure a film’s success from intimate knowledge, tips, insights, and horror stories from prominent filmmakers and producers.

Shaked Berenson, CEO, Entertainment Squad

Everything You Need To Know About Production Incentives

Monday, November 11     |     11:30am – 1:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Everyone is chasing free money but will qualifying for these incentives be disruptive to your production plan? Come hear a very inclusive overview of production incentives and the difference between tax credits, rebates and grants. Learn about the different legal structures a producer may need to consider when utilizing these incentives, especially as it pertains to tax compliance, financial reporting, and profit participation.

John Hadity, Executive Vice President, EP Financial Solutions

Producing Passion Documentaries

Monday, November 11     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Audiences are seeking out more documentaries than ever before. What elements will help a doc stand out? Producers and distributors will discuss producing for success in the documentary marketplace.

Trevor Crafts, CEO, Macrocosm
Amanda Marshall, Producer, Cold Iron Pictures
Alysa Nahmias, Producer, Ajna Films
Megan Gilbride, Producer, “Tower,” “Where Do Soldiers Come From”

Tom White, Editor, Documentary Magazine/Content Editor,, International Documentary Association

Monday, November 11     |     5:00pm – 6:30pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

The Documentary marketplace is quickly transforming. New platforms and alliances are providing opportunities for stories that can support a long-form treatment. Producers and distributors will examine the diverse sources of revenue and discuss which co-production models can achieve success.

Josh Braun, Co-President, Submarine Entertainment
Alexandra Johnes, Producer, Very Special Projects
Melanie Miller, Co-Founder/Producer, Fishbowl Films
Evan Saxon, Head of West Coast Acquisitions and Business Development, Abramorama

Scilla Andreen, CEO & Co-Founder, IndieFlix

Key Legal Issues: Avoiding Costly Mistakes in Film Productions

Tuesday, November 12     |     9:30am – 11:00am     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

The basics of the legal work necessary to produce feature films in the US are well known. But production deals are not all cookie-cutter. Learn about common mistakes, and how to identify and avoid errors and issues that will not be found in standard forms and books. The discussion will focus on chain of title, how to avoid disputes with investors and financiers, and common clearance issues including music and copyright works. This session will also disclose how to avoid issues in with guilds and completion bonders.

Karen Robson, Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP

Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd

Tuesday, November 12     |     11:30am – 1:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Whether you’re a filmmaker or a producer, in this workshop you will learn best practices for crowdsourcing (which is not the same as crowdfunding) your project.  You will learn how to identify, engage and move an audience using online and offline practices to build an army of support for you and your film.  We will explore various case studies from the book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd to show how various filmmakers and producers used crowdsourcing to help make their films and build their audience while in development.

Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32

Boosting Your Micro-Budget

Tuesday, November 12     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

High quality micro-budget films are no longer a novelty, making it essential for producers to follow the key principles of producing for the marketplace. Learn from experts how to maximize every dollar and how to create a small film that will be destined for big success.

Seth Caplan, Producer, “Mercy Black,” “First Girl I Loved,” “Blood Fest”
Joy Ganes, Producer,“Premature”, “I’ll Meet You There”
Linda Nelson, CEO, Indie Rights
Benjamin Wiessner, Producer, “Thunder Road,” “Disfluency,” “In a Silent Way”

Alex Ferrari, Indie Film Hustle

Respecting the Genre: Why Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t

Tuesday, November 12     |     5:00pm – 6:30pm     |    Palisades Stage, Loews Hotel

Hundreds of horror films are made every year but only a few really stand out. Why is that? What makes the successful films resonate? Producers, distributors and influencers will explore what makes the genre work for global audiences at every level, from marketing to release to longevity in the horror community.

Roxanne Benjamin, Producer, “V/H/S,” “Southbound,” “Body at Brighton Rock”
Adam Goldworm, Founder, Aperture Entertainment
Natalie Metzger, VP of Development & Production,Vanishing Angle
Patrick Ewald, CEO, Epic Pictures

William Bibbiani, Writer, Bloody Disgusting; Podcast Co-Host, “Critically Acclaimed,” “The Two-Shot,” “Cancelled Too Soon


The Venice Stage presents unique opportunities to connect and learn in an intimate setting. Access with any AFM badge until full. Due to limited space, tickets are not available.

Global Hotspot: Created in Moscow

Thursday, November 7     |     10:00am – 11:30am     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Discover brand-new titles to watch from the capital of Russia.

Russia is rapidly expanding in production and is now a significant player on the international market. This year Moscow Export Center will provide the audience with a rare opportunity to hear directly from biggest Moscow-based content creators and distributors on their newest projects and plans for 2020.

Zhanna Shakhshaeva, Head of International Department, All Media Company
Costa Fam, Producer, Ark Pictures
Anna Strunevskaya, Head of Sales, Art Pictures Studio
Leyla Atakishieva, International Sales Manager, Central Partnership
Aleksandr Denisiuk, Producer, KD Studios
Sergey Antonov, CEO, Kolobanga Media
Mila Rozanova, Manager International Sales and Co-Productions, Mars Media Entertainment
Olga Ailarova, Head of Sales, Mint Films International
Tatiana Pemova, International Sales Manager, Planeta Inform
Anna Arutyunova, Manager International Relations, Premier Studios
Artem Vitkin, Producer, Revoluzzia film
Marina Mnatsakanyan, Head of Sales Department, RFG Distribution
Alex Belyakov, International Sales, Russian World Vision
Alina Martyanova, International Business Manager, Sreda Global
Katerina Mikhaylova, Producer, Vega Film


Larisa Magkaeva, Executive Director, Expocontent LLC

Shooting Films in China: A Close-Up 

presented by UCFTI

Friday, November 8     |     9:30am – 10:45am     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

As co-productions reach commercial success in China and around the globe, foreign firms are discovering the benefits of filmmaking in China. Join us for a panel discussion with the new head of the China Film Co-Production Corporation and seasoned professionals in the field. Learn all there is to know about making films in China, from understanding systems and regulations to arranging logistics and production incentives.

Chun Liu, President, China Film Co-Production Corp.
Carrie Wong, Head of Production Film & TV, Greater China, Sony Picture Entertainment
David Lee, CEO, Leeding Media

Rance Pow, CEO, Artisan Gateway

Content Protection Update: China’s Social Media and Piracy Trends

presented by UCFTI

Friday, November 8     |     11:00am – 12:15pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

The rapid growth of online video services and social media platforms have presented huge opportunities as well as challenges for Hollywood studios. As customers in China are increasingly drawn to social media, popular apps are becoming a hotbed for the proliferation of infringing content via legitimate accounts and app stores.

Sherwood Hu, Director and Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Xian Li, SVP Production, SK Global

Kevin Yao, CEO, Firstbrave USA

Chinese Animation Market: Opportunities and Success Stories 

presented by UCFTI

Friday, November 8     |     2:00pm – 3:15pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

This summer, the Chinese animated feature Ne Zha became a market sensation, grossing $700 million at the box office. China’s entry in the international Oscar race, it set the highest record for any domestically-produced animation. Professionals from production companies and studios will share insights and views about China’s huge market potential for animation film co-productions and related opportunities.

Followed by a Beijing International Film Festival Introduction

Gillian Zhao Fang, President, Warner Bros. China
Allen Tsang, Producer, Gold Valley Films
Jacques Stroweis, Visual Effects Supervisor

Rong Chen- President, Perfect World Pictures

OTT Streaming Updates: China’s Market Landscape and New Players  

presented by UCFTI

Friday, November 8     |     3:45pm – 5:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

OTT streaming has profoundly changed the business of filmed entertainment in the U.S. and around the world. China’s leading OTT platforms are catching up and fast becoming formidable players. While China’s internet market is still closed to international capital investment, this panel will explore where Hollywood studios and OTT platforms can find footholds for future development. Join experts for a discussion that includes a look at the stakeholders and new players in the Chinese OTT market.


Bennett Pozil, Executive Vice President, East-West Bank
Jack Gao, CEO, Smart Cinema
Stephen Saltzman, Chair Asian Entertainment & Media Practice, Paul Hasting

Lindsay Conner, Partner and Leader, Manatt Entertainment Group Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Future of Film Rights and Content Management

presented by MTonomy

Saturday, November 9     |     10:00am – 11:30am     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Film and TV content rights are exploding in complexity. The collective number of platforms, territories, and formats have increased 5000% over the last 10 years. Join a technology entrepreneur, a media executive who managed billions in global distribution revenue, and an indie distribution expert to catch a rare glimpse into the best-in-class practices and platforms of film sales and distribution companies managing  and monetizing film and TV content globally.

Arjun Mendhi, MIT Technologist & CEO, MTonomy
Denise Denson, Former EVP of Global Content Distribution at Viacom & COO, MTonomy
Linda Nelson, Expert in Independent Films Market & CEO, IndieRights

Follow the North Star – A New Alliance for Film and TV Projects

presented by North Star Film Alliance

Saturday, November 9     |     12:00pm – 1:30pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Navigate options for your film and television productions to be placed in Finland, Estonia and Latvia with the newly formed North Star Film Alliance. Representing an unparalleled menu of content and production incentives, as well as diverse and unfound locations and advanced production technology, all supported by experienced crew and specialists. There will be a visual presentation introducing the Alliance and showcasing the region where Scandinavia meets Eastern Europe creating one of the most technologically advanced, safest and modern environments to shoot. The event features Oscar-nominated and experienced producers and director along with industry executives drawn from the region.

Ivo Felt, Producer, Allfilm
Jānis Kalējs, Producer, Film Angels Productions
Anni Wessman, Head of International, Audiovisual Producers Finland
Tanel Toom, Director
Marko Post, VFX Specialist, Winter-Post

Creative Inclusion Meets Content Demand: Opportunities for Success in Storyteller Connection

presented by FilmLA

Saturday, November 9     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

A panel conversation among leaders of L.A. based not-for-profit organizations dedicated to helping underrepresented and emerging storytellers find a voice and vocation in film.  Join us for an exploration of new business opportunities involving a diverse new generation of content creators.

Ayuko Babu, Founder & Executive Director, Pan African Film & Arts Festival
Liliana Espinoza, Projects Director, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
Joanelle Romero, Founder & CEO, Red Nation Celebration Institute

Paul Audley, FilmLA

Only in Louisiana

hosted by The Louisiana Film Office

Saturday, November 9     |     5:00pm – 7:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Louisiana was one of the first states to enact a motion picture production incentive in 2002. 17 years later, the state remains one of the premier location destinations in the world. Join officials from the State of Louisiana, regional representatives and businesses for the latest update on the state’s booming motion picture production and jobs creation programs.

Chris Stelly, Louisiana Entertainment
Stephen Hamner, Division Director, Film and Television, Louisiana Entertainment
Katie Pryor, Executive Director, Baton Rouge Film Commission
Willma Harvey, Director of Sales and Business Development, River Parishes Tourism Commission
Brandon Fail, Economic Development Director and Film Commissioner, City of Shreveport
Carroll Morton, Director, Film New Orleans

The PVOD Window: How Cinemas are Future Proofing their Business and What it Means for Independent Film

presented by SHIFT72

Sunday, November 10     |     10:00am – 11:30am     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Cinemas are exploring a new distribution window that would allow them to deliver premium films to home viewers. What will this new PVOD window look like? How will cinemas and distributors use PVOD to invigorate box-office revenue? And what does this all mean for independent film?

David White, CEO, SHIFT72

Producing In Russia: Navigating International Co-Productions from IP to Delivery

presented by ROSKINO in association with Producers Without Borders

Sunday, November 10     |     12:00pm – 1:30pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

As the Russian film and television market matures providing audiences with multiple platforms to consume content, how do local producers pitch their IP’s to international co-producers to develop Russian (or old Soviet content) for international markets. What type of content has the best chance to travel across borders to attract global audiences? What challenges/restrictions should international producers expect when facing delicate issues regarding the content being developed/distributed for global markets. Are rebates/incentives enough to attract smaller international producers to film in Russia? What type of film national rebates are in place that could attract large scale productions outside the current 7 provinces offering incentives?

Steven Beer, Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo P.C.
Steven Adams, Alta Global Media 
Alexander Rodnyansky, Producer/Director

Katya Mtsitouridze, CEO, ROSKINO
Kayvan Mashayekh, Founder, Producers Without Borders

Cyprus: A Natural Film Studio

presented by Invest Cyprus

Sunday, November 10     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Looking for a real-world location that best matches your vision and advances your film’s story? Join us to find out all there is to know about Cyprus, a new filming hot-spot in the Eastern Mediterranean. Featuring scenic, versatile locations, pleasant weather conditions and professional crews, and boasting streamlined licensing procedures, dedicated support and competitive financial incentives, Cyprus has what it takes to be the perfect choice for your next production.

Michalis P. Michael, Chairman, Invest Cyprus
George Campanellas, Director General, Invest Cyprus

Scoring for Film, TV and Digital Platforms…How and How Much?

programmed by Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund and The Society of Composers & Lyricists

Monday, November 11     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Having exceptional music can transform a project. Understanding the process of getting a great, low-cost score is critical to a project’s success.

How is music selected, scored and recorded? What are the anticipated costs? What are the unanticipated costs…!? What are Festival Rights?
How do I hire a Composer? What are the differences between a Music Editor and a Music Supervisor? Do I want to OWN the music in my film or is just getting the right music license acceptable? Can I own the rights worldwide?

We’ll answer these questions and also discuss the latest trends as well as what’s coming next…

John Debney, Composer
Kim Roberts, Executive Director, Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund 
Gina Zimmitti, Music Contractor/Coordinator
Donald Petrie, Director

Ashley Irwin, President, The Society of Composers & Lyricists

Movie Magic: Battle of the Budgeting Experts

presented by Entertainment Partners

Monday, November 11     |     5:00pm – 6:30pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

There’s more to budgeting than you think. Whether you’re new to budgeting or a Master Budgeter, you must join this roundtable of industry experts for a candid discussion of what every producer, UPM, and accountant needs to know regarding the elements that can make or break your project in today’s multi-outlet environment.

Fran Lucci, Senior Vice President, Production Finance, STX
Tish Johnson, Freelance Production Accountant
Mike Upton, Feature Line Producer
George Lakes, Marketing and Sales Director, Entertainment Partners

Myfa Cirinna, EVP, Marketing and Sales, Entertainment Partners

Blockchain and Cinema: Developments, Opportunities, Challenges

Tuesday, November 12     |     9:30am – 11:00am     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

Blockchain technology is creating opportunities for filmmaking and re-shaping the face of the creative industries. This session will study recent developments in rights management efficiency and transparency, as well as demystify blockchain technology. It will also explore how blockchain can be used in film financing, production, and distribution.

Manuel Badel, Founder & President, Badel Media
Dr. Patrice Poujol, Founder & CEO, Lumiere; ACIM Lab Senior Research Fellow, City University of Hong Kong

Jesse Weiner, Co-Managing Partner, YK Law LLP

Working with the U.S. Guilds

Tuesday, November 12     |     4:00pm – 5:00pm     |    Venice Stage, Loews Hotel

SAGindie and WGAW representatives explain how to secure talent agreements for actors and writers and make your project signatory to the guilds’ agreements.

Colin McCormack, Communication Manager, SAGIndie
Laurie Espinosa, Senior Director of Contracts, Writers Guild of America West


Engage is Pepperdine University’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports, and Culture signature diversity and inclusion event where creative entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn from high profile industry professionals. Access with any AFM badge.

Engage Symposium: 21st Century Ciné Art as Industry

Friday, November 8     |     2:30pm – 5:45pm     |    Starlight Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel

This half-day symposium features an opening and closing keynote conversation, provocative panel discussions, and invaluable insider information about the film, television, and new media landscape from a diverse group of notable creatives, producers, and executives in the entertainment industry. This year’s symposium theme, “21st Century Ciné Art as Industry,” will focus on the burgeoning trends in the industry for creatives and business entrepreneurs across media platforms and the transmedia entertainment landscape and close with a post-event networking reception.

Keynote Conversation Honoring the legacy of John Singleton, Screenwriter/Producer/Director

Steve Nicolaides, Producer, Executive Producer, Production Manager
Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice, Stand by Me When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, Shaft

Additional Panelists and Contributors

Stephanie Allain, Producer / Formerly Senior Vice President of Columbia Pictures
Hustle & Flow, Something New, Beyond the Lights, Dear White People

Endyia Kinney-Sterns, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EKS Consulting Firm
Formerly Vice President of Development and Programming for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Quincy Newell, Founder and President, TwentyOne 14
Formerly Executive Vice President & General Manager for Codeblack Films, Lionsgate

Glynn Turman – Actor, Director, Producer
The Wire, House of Lies, How to Get Away with Murder, Fargo

Shelia Morgan Ward, Business Manager, John Singleton

Christa Zofcin Workman – Chief Operating Officer, River Road Entertainment
Formerly, Head of Business Affairs for United Artists

Hosted By
Pepperdine University, Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports, and Culture

Registration Link

For more information or questions please contact Dr. Joi Carr


Access with any AFM badge until full. Due to limited space, tickets are not available.

Producing with Nigeria: The $100M Box Office Opportunity

Saturday, November 9     |     3:00pm – 5:00pm    |     Pacific Ballroom, Le Merigot Hotel

The Nigerian International Film Summit is a business and networking summit organized to focus on the local and global promotion of various aspects of local and international film business with Nigeria. The primary aim for NIFS is to drive business conversations and meetings on the opportunities, possibilities and challenges revolving around the business of film in Nigeria for international distributors, buyers and film investors. It seeks to promote how fast the local Nollywood film industry is evolving to meet with international production standards and expectations among other topical issues relating to the Nigerian film industry


AFM hosts the world’s producers and decision makers to four networking receptions at the historic Merry-Go-Round on the Santa Monica Pier. The AFM’s Carousel Cocktails provide a unique and memorable experience as participants connect and relax at the beach.

Carousel Cocktails will take place Tuesday – Friday, November 3, 4, 5 & 6, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Qualified Attendee badge holders are invited to one reception. The choice of evening is selected when each badge is purchased.

Participants must be at least 21 years of age to attend. Photo ID may be required.

Carousel Cocktails