AFMA - which is thenew moniker for the American Film Marketing Association - has thrown itsmembership open to non-English-language film distributors after years of beingrestricted to licensors and distributors with at least some English-languagefilm or TV product.

The decision, reached by theAFMA board of directors, strikes the "English-speaking" clause forboth levels of membership, opening the way for international distributors ofexclusively non-English-language product to apply.

AFMA president and CEO JeanPrewitt said that it was a historic move for AFMA, paving the way for continuedgrowth of the association. "It represents formal recognition that ourindustry is global and that our association must become truly international inscope," said Prewitt in a statement.

Currently, approximately 40%of AFMA's 160 member companies are located outside the US, including AdrianaChiesa Enterprises, China Star, LolaFilms, Pathe International, StudioCanalFrance, Svensk FilmIndustri, TF1 International and UGC International, all ofwhom principally distribute non-English-language film and TV programming.However, membership criteria, until now, has required members to have at leastsome English-language titles in their film library.