Aiming to fusethe benefits offered by the AFM and AFI Fest, organisers of both events saidyesterday they hoped the deliberate scheduling match in November would presentfilm-makers with a complete introduction to the global film community.

While details stillneed to be firmed up, a picture is emerging of a co-ordinated agenda designedto generate market buzz around hot festival screenings, with film-makersencouraged to meet professionals from all corners of the industry under theaegis of the Kodak Connect programme.

Festival staffwill identify films with all rights available to AFM exhibitors in SantaMonica, who will each be issued with an AFI Fest badge so acquisitionsexecutives can attend screenings across town in Hollywood. Connecting shuttleswill be arranged between events.

Programming forboth - AFM will run from Nov 3-10 and AFI Fest from Nov 4-14 - will be arrangedseparately. However considerable confluence is being planned as rights-holdersaim to establish a presence on both sides of town to drive up the kudos factor.

"With the moveto the fall, the AFM has created a strategic alliance with the AFI Fest thatwill benefit both organisations," AFMA president and chief executive officerJean Prewitt said.

"Thiscombination of a festival and a market will merge cultural and commercialactivities and provide a broad and rich experience for all participants."

"Choose thisfestival and be assured the world's buyers will see it," Jonathan Wolf, AFMA'sexecutive vice president and the AFM's managing director, said.

Wolf added therewere no plans for joint accreditation but said there may be a combined logo tolink the AFM and AFI Fest, which take place at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monicaand Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood respectively.

AFI Festivalsand AFI Fest director Christian Gaines styled the festival as pre-Oscar-watchevent and an established international showcase, adding that two-thirds ofentries last year came from outside the US.

Gaines stressedthe benefits of the Kodak Connect programme and said that first-time directorPatty Jenkins used it to pitch Monster to producer Brad Wyman in 2001.

"AFM 2003 has been enormously successful and upbeat," AFMAchairman Michael Ryan said. "This alliance with AFI Fest gives us the glitz wehave been all been yearning for - most of our members desire thatmarketability."

AFM-AFI Festprogrammes already in place:

- Every AFMexhibitor will receive an AFI Fest badge so that an acquisitions executive canwatch films at AFI Fest with all rights available.

- All AFM badgeswill permit access to AFI Fest Cinema Lounge.

- AFI Festfilm-makers whose films are in the festival will receive an all-access AFMbadge.

- All AFI Fest badges will permit accessto AFM Premiere (public) screenings.

- AFI Fest willidentify festival films with all rights available and will promote them to AFMexhibitors.

- AFI Fest willconduct a two to three-day structured meeting programme at AFM for AFI FestKodak Connect participants.

- Shuttles will move festival and marketparticipants between Hollywood and Santa Monica.