AFMA's three top executives sounded a confident noteyesterday ahead of the American Film Market's opening day of trading in Santa Monica,highlighting the trade body's 40% non-American contingent and high projectedattendance as key drivers in what they expect to be a vibrant AFM this week.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the event, AFMApresident and chief executive officer Jean Prewitt, executive vice presidentand market managing director Jonathan Wolf and AFMA chairman Michael Ryan saida stabilising global industry and increasingly resourceful financing modelsheralded dynamic business.
AFMA expects a record 306 registered exhibitors, which is a riseof 13% over last year, and 1,450 buyers, a rise of 11%, to be among theprojected 7,000 people set to descend on the Santa Monica market.
Some 384 pictures in 28 languages are set for screening, including252 market premieres, up 5% from last year.
"All the people here have been able to make movies somehow. Thatis what we're all about," Ryan said, adding that his appointment as AFMA'sfirst ever non-Californian chairman reflected "massive growth in globalproduction."
Wolf attributed the 11% attendance rise among buyers to thematuring of markets like Russia, Poland and Hungary and a stronger Euro.
Prewitt stressed the body provided a full range of servicesincluding advocacy and production guides and was involved with several USstates and some guilds in crafting incentive programmes.