Influential film-makersincluding Michael Apted, Kathryn Bigelow and Neil LaBute are scheduled to speakin a series of eight seminars to run during the 23rd American Film Market(AFM), which takes place from Feb 19-26. The seminars have traditionally been apopular draw among industry professionals and topics this year include actingin the digital age, the writer/film-maker as entrepreneur and an exploration ofnew exotic sources of co-production. In addition the AFM will stage a half-dayconference on Feb 2 entitled The Future of Film Financing, featuring twosessions examining the views of financiers/facilitators and CEOs.

"The breadth of theseminars reflects the theme of this year's AFM - Filmmaking Starts Here - andthe relevance of the AFM to the development and production process," AFMmanaging director Jonathan Wolf said in a statement. "We're thrilled tohave such an accomplished group of panelists." The seminars are sponsoredby global legal advisors Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The full list of AFM seminars:

The future of feature filmfinancing: the financiers and facilitators (Feb 21)

Programmed by AFMA, thescheduled panelists are: Steve Fayne, partner at the entertainment group ofAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; John Hardy, managing director of MatrixFilm Finance Ltd; Frank Hubner, CEO of Apollo Media; Bennett Pozil, groupmanager (entertainment) at Natexis Bank Populaires; and Bob Yari, partner atStratus Film Company. The panel will be moderated by Lewis Horwitz, president& CEO of The Lewis Horwitz Organisation.

The future of feature filmfinancing: the CEOs (Feb 21)

Programmed by AFMA, thescheduled panelists are: Adriana Chiesa, CEO of Adriana Chiesa Enterprises;Aline Perry, CEO of The Works; and Peter Sussman, CEO of the entertainmentgroup at Alliance Atlantis Communications. The panel will be moderated byStephen Saltzman, partner at the entertainment group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer& Feld LLP.

New exotic sources ofco-production (Feb 22)

Programmed by Women In FilmInternational, scheduled panelists are: producer Deepak Nayar (Buena VistaSocial Club and Bend It LikeBeckham; writer-director Lajos Petro(Nate And The Colonel); producerAnant Singh (Sarafina!, Paljas);Donna Smith, president/CEO of Cinema Completions International; and FrankZuniga, director of the New Mexico Film Office. The panel will be moderated byJune Shelley, head of sales and marketing at RKO Pictures.

Structuring films out of theUK (Feb 22)

Programmed by The BritishFilm Commission/FILM COUNCIL, scheduled panelists are: Ken Dearsley, partner atDenton Wilde Sapte; John Graydon, director of the film unit at Tenon GodfreyAllan; John Hadity, executive vice president of motion picture and televisionproduction finance at Miramax Films; and producer Ian Smith (Cold Mountain). The panel will be moderated by Clare Wise,director of the British Film Commission.

Reaching an audience withyour indie film (Feb 23)

Programmed by IFP/LosAngeles, scheduled panelists are: Gene Cajayon, director-executiveProducer-co-writer of The Debut;Greg Laemmle, vice president of Laemmle Theatres; Larry Meistrich, CEO of TheFilm Movement; and Ximena Schyfter, director of acquisitions at The ArenasGroup. The panel will be moderated by Michael C Donaldson, partner at Donaldsonand Hart.

Acting in the digital age(Feb 23)

Programmed by the ScreenActors Guild/SAG Indie, scheduled panelists are: Melissa Gilbert, SAGpresident; and actor and member of the SAG National Board of Directors EsaiMorales. The panel will be moderated by actor-producer Tom Bower (The TulseLuper Suitcase, The Laramie Project).

2003's hot button - productplacement in transition (Feb 24)

Programmed by theEntertainment Resources & Marketing Association and produced by Mercedes Benz,the panelists are yet to be announced. The seminar will be moderated by Eric EDahlquist, president of Vista Group USA

Film and television music:cost or profit' (Feb 24)

Programmed by Cherry LaneMusic Publishing Company, scheduled panelists are: film-maker Roger Corman ofConcorde-New Horizons; producer Michael Jaffe of Jaffe/Braunstein Films;composer Lee Holdridge; producer Sandy King Carpenter of Storm KingProductions; and music supervisor Greg Sill. The panel will be moderated byAida Gurwicz, president of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company.

Declare your independence:the filmmaker-writer as entrepreneur (Feb 25)

Programmed by The WritersGuild of America, west (WGAw), scheduled panelists are: Catherine Hardwicke,co-writer-director of Thirteenand the writer of Bulldog Dance;Matthew Ryan Hoge, writer-director of The United States Of Leland; Stanley Isaacs, writer-producer of (Megalodon,Last Gasp); and writer-director EdSolomon, (Levity, Men In Black).The panel will be moderated by Howard A Rodman, writer of Joe Gould's Secret and co-chair of WGAw's Independent Writers Caucus.

Persistence of vision:maintaining creative focus in a bottom-line environment (Feb 25)

Programmed by The DirectorsGuild of America, scheduled director panelists are: Kathryn Bigelow, (K-19:The Widowmaker, Strange Days, Point Break); Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, the Scream trilogy); Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things, Possession, Nurse Betty); Mark Romanek, (One Hour Photo). The panel will be moderated by Michael Apted (Enigma,Gorillas In The Mist, 7 Up Series).