LA's AFI FEST is bidding to join the world's elite festivals andbecome the first in the US to carry International Federation of Film ProducersAssociations (FIAPF) accreditation.

AFI FEST has applied for accreditation and a ruling is expected toemerge before the end of the year. FIAPF's gold standard internationalfestivals include Cannes, Toronto, Berlin and Venice.

"AFI FEST has proven its worth as a cutting-edge showcase forquality international films in the USA," FIAPF general-director ValerieLepine-Karnik said.

"AFI FEST is becoming essential to producers, sales agents anddistributors and its cooperation with AFM reinforces this connection.

"I want to thank AFI FEST's director Christian Gaines and the teamat IFTA, whose support was a big help in FIAPF's decision to consider AFI FESTaccreditation."

"As the number of film festivals in the world increases, andas their responsibility in meeting the needs of the many constituents whoconverge at a film festival becomes more involved and complex, the role ofFIAPF has never been more important," Gaines added.

"As AFI FEST continues its rapid growth and provides a morestrategic service to the international film community, it is natural to applyfor FIAPF accreditation. We would be honored to be the first film festival inthe United States accredited by FIAPF."