The American Film Market(AFM) closed yesterday and organizing body AFMA announced the closingattendance figures as down 6% from 7,127 in 2001 to 6,714 in 2002. Registeredbuyers were down at 1,327 from 1,447 in the previous year, although the numberof non-US registered buyers was down only 2% from 2001.

The number of salescompanies which took exhibition space stood at 338, the highest in themarket's 22-year history, compared to 332 in 2001. The number of filmsscreened was also up to 408, the second highest on record, and up from 398 lastyear.

Countries showing increasedbuyer presence from 2001 included, ironically considering its current problems,Germany with 40 this year up from 36 last, Korea with 24 up from 21 last yearand Greece with eight this year up from five last.

' AFMA also announcedyesterday that it is teaming up with anti-piracy group MediaForce to provideonline anti-piracy services to AFMA-member companies worldwide. The initiative,specifically to prevent illegal distribution and sale of copyrighted films onthe internet, will offer members services including the identification andreporting of works offered illegally online, the sending of cease-and-desistletters and the distribution of decoyed versions to minimize online piracy by dilutingthe pirate's ability to find the copyrighted material. In a recent study,MediaForce found that more than 800,000 movies are available on the internetfor illegal distibution or sale.