NOVEMBER 6 - 13, 2019 • SANTA MONICA

Programs & Events

Programs & Events

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

CONFERENCES

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: The Big Picture

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

The Future of Global Film Finance

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

Pitch Conference

sponsored by Creative Industries Hawaii

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

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.

Panelists
Tobin Armbrust, President, Worldwide Production & Acquisitions, Virgin Produced
Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/Agent, Elevated Film Sales

To be considered to pitch on stage, you will need to submit a 2-minute video pitch. Instructions on how to submit your pitch will be posted in early September.

Finance Conference II: Funding Films Today

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.”

Moderator
Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32


The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen

Moderator
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.

Moderator
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.

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.


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.

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.

Moderator
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.

Moderator
Bruce Eisen, President, Digital Advisors

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


Additional Information

Doors & Will Call for morning sessions open at 8:00am.
Doors & Will Call for afternoon sessions open at 1:30pm.

To submit a speaker for consideration for AFM 2019, please see Speaking Opportunities.

WRITERS WORKSHOP

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.

Instructor
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.

Instructor
Steven Wolfson, Screenwriter/Instructor, UCLA

 

IMMERSIVE SUMMIT

A collaborative and educational event for creatives, buyers, sellers and innovators of the Extended Reality (XR) industry. The program will include keynotes and panel discussions featuring creators, international industry experts and decision makers, to address the stages of bringing immersive content, such as virtual and augmented reality, to market. Access with any AFM badge or ticket.

Immersive Summit presented by Winston Baker

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

PALISADES STAGE

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.

Orientation

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.

Speaker
Jonathan Wolf, Managing Director, American Film Market

Orientation

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.

Speaker
Jonathan Wolf, Managing Director, American Film Market

TBA

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

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.

Speakers
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.

Panelists
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, CEO, Dove Organization
Gregg Schwenk, CEO/Executive Director, Newport Beach Film Festival

TBA

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

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.

Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries

Monday, November 11     |     4:30pm – 6:00pm     |    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.

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

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.

Speakers
Benjamin Wiessner, VP of Sales & Acquisitions, Vanishing Angle

Respecting the Genre: Why Do 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.

VENICE STAGE

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.

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

Monday, November 11     |     2:30pm – 4:00pm     |    Palisades 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…

PROGRAMMED BY:
FILM MUSICIANS SECONDARY MARKETS FUND and THE SOCIETY FOR COMPOSERS & LYRICISTS

CAROUSEL COCKTAILS

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 Friday – Monday, November 8, 9, 10 & 11, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. 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