The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) has extended its deal with the Loews Santa Monica following months of speculation over a mooted move to L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles Downtown.

As before, there will be additional exhibition space at the neighbouring Le Merigot and conferences will continue at the Fairmont Miramar.

Next year’s event, which was always going to take place at the Loews, will run from Oct 31-Nov 7. The 2013 event is dated Nov 6-13, while the 2014 AFM will take place from Nov 5-12 and subsequent dates are: Nov 4-11 2015, Nov 2-9 2016 and Nov 1-8 2017.

In an announcement, IFTA highlighted several civic and private projects over the next few years that it believed would enhance the market:

  • A light Metro Rail terminal at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue expected to be operational in 2015 will connect Santa Monica to Los Angeles and Hollywood;
  • AMC Entertainment is developing a new 12-screen multiplex scheduled to open in late 2014 or early 2015;
  • By late 2014 a renovated Santa Monica Civic Auditorium will include removable seating for more than 2,000 people and will be, according to a press release, “an ideal venue for red-carpet premieres”;
  • At least 700 hotel rooms are expected to be added to the downtown area; and
  • The seven-acre park on Ocean Avenue across from the Loews is scheduled to open in late 2013 with restaurants and shops earmarked for 2014. 

“We tirelessly explored every option to ensure the AFM would have the best long-term home,” IFTA chairman Paul Hertzberg said. “We look forward to many more successful Markets with the beach as our backdrop.”

IFTA president-CEO Jean Prewitt said: “Our stated goal from the start of this process has been to provide the best environment, resources and value for the world’s buyers and sellers and, after long and careful deliberations, we believe remaining in Santa Monica will achieve all of those goals.”

“In Santa Monica, the AFM will soon have access to a new 12-screen multiplex, a 2,000-plus seat world class venue for red-carpet premieres, more hotel rooms, light rail transportation to Los Angeles and Hollywood, and even a spectacular new park across from the Loews,”  IFTA evp and AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf said. “We are thrilled that everyone in the city came together to make this happen.”

According to the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, research estimates that the AFM will contribute more than $100m to the local economy over the next six years.