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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

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.


Breaking the Mold: The Innovators

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

Pitch Conference

sponsored by Creative Industries 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.

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

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

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.”

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.

Panelists
Paul Bales, Partner, The Asylum
Pierre David, Chief Strategy Advisor & Producer, ReelOne/Lance Entertainment
Brad Krevoy, CEO, Motion Picture Corporation of America
Debra Martin Chase, Executive Producer, Martin Chase Productions
Tony Vassiliadis, Chief Operations Officer, MarVista Entertainment


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.

Panelists
Floris Bauer, President, Gunpowder & Sky
Anthony Layser, Vice President, Partnerships & Programming, Xumo
Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi TV
Jeff Shultz, Chief Business Officer, Pluto TV

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.

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

The Immersive Summit will dive into the stages of producing immersive content from pre-production and finance to production, post-production, brand partnerships and other distribution models. The Summit will host 400-500 filmmakers, producers, innovators, technologists, buyers, studio executives and financiers interested in learning more about the XR space. Discussions will include:

  • The Immersive Landscape: State of the Industry and What’s Next
  • Expanding the Medium of Storytelling through Volumetric Capture
  • Virtual Visionaries: Finding the Right Partners
  • Monetizing XR: Finance, Brands & Distribution

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

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

The Importance of Script Supervision

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

Presenter
Randi Feldman, Founder, Cinema Workshops

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

Storytelling in the Global Marketplace

Presented in partnership with Women In Film.

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

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.

Presenter
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.

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
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, Editor-in-Chief, Giving Company
Gregg Schwenk, CEO/Executive Director, Newport Beach Film Festival

Moderator
Barbara Mudge, President & Founder, Worldwide Film Entertainment

Coming soon!  Presented in partnership with Outfest.

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

Everything You Need To Know About Production Incentives

Monday, November 11     |     11:30pm – 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.

Presenter
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.

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

Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries

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.

Speakers
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

Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers

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

Presenter
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.

Speakers
Joy Ganes, Producer, “Premature”, “I’ll Meet You There”
Benjamin Wiessner, Producer, “Thunder Road,” “Disfluency,” “In a Silent Way”

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.

Speakers
Natalie Metzger, VP of Development & Production, Vanishing Angle
Patrick Ewald, CEO, Epic Pictures

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. To explore hosting a session on the Venice Stage, see Speaking Opportunities.

Future of Film Rights and Content Management

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

Get the edge in your operations… explore the secrets of what make some distributors, studios and sales companies exceptionally efficient!

Does your life involve lots of busywork with rights, avails, content, delivery, screeners, contracts, encoding, security, collection, etc.?
How do some companies manage all the busywork with hardly any overheard or manpower?
How can you transform your operations, to stay competitive, and be able to scale without increasing headcount?

Get a rare glimpse into the best-in-class operations of film distribution and production companies, utilizing technological innovation. Determine how you can stay competitive in the today’s dynamic film and TV market, make tangible improvements in days (not months or years). Plan your roadmap customized to your budget and targets.

Speakers
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

Only in Louisiana

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.

Hosted By
The Louisiana Film Office

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

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?

Speaker
David White, CEO, SHIFT72

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

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…

Programmed By
Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund and The Society for Composers & Lyricists

Movie Magic: Battle of the Budgeting Experts

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.

Hosts
Myfa Cirinna, EVP, Marketing, Entertainment Partners
Darren Ehlers, SVP, Product Management, Entertainment Partners

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