Organisers at the upcoming AFM and AFI Fest are predicting recordattendances ahead of the partner events set to take place in November.

AFM and AFI Fest established a strategic alliance in 2004, and topbrass from both camps are calling it the largest annual gathering of industryprofessionals in North America.

AFM chiefs said registration was running 'well ahead' of2005 and organisers predict turnout will pass last year's high-water mark of8,014 attendances. The AFM is scheduled to run in Santa Monica from Nov 1-8.

AFI Fest, which runs from Nov 1-12 in Hollywood, also registeredrecord numbers in 2005 with 512 filmmakers from 35 countries, 372 internationalpress representatives, 343 industry professionals, and 60,087 consumerattendees.

'A major benefit of our partnership with AFI Fest is theopportunity for a selection of our exhibitors' films to be programmed in thefestival, creating additional exposure and marketing platforms,' AFMmanaging director and Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)executive vice president Jonathan Wolf said.

'AFI Fest filmmakers are building the market into theirstrategies,' festival director Christian Gaines said. 'Many havesales representation at AFM, while some are orienting themselves to the marketfor the very first time.'

Among the benefits for attendees are non-stop shuttles from SantaMonica to Hollywood; access to market events for AFI Fest filmmakers; DVD andVHS screening facilities for AFM buyers at the AFI Fest Video Library; andinternships with AFM exhibiting companies for AFI's producers programmefellows.