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Episode 126 – Is AFM Worth It?

You’ve heard about AFM and maybe have a vague sense that it’s a place where films get bought and sold. But what exactly is it? Should every filmmaker go? Is it worth the expense? Alrik went on our behalf to answer all your burning questions and took away some filmmaking lessons. We also read some more iTunes reviews. Keep those reviews coming! Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher or right here on this page. Follow the links below and check out the show notes for links to the things we talked about in this episode.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).

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What is AFM?

AFM is the American Film Market, a yearly event in Santa Monica, CA. This is Alrik’s first year at AFM. He explains what AFM is and how it’s organized.

  • The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is the AFM headquarters. At the Loews you will find 8 floors of hotel rooms and each room has at least one company in it so hundreds of companies are represented at AFM.
  • Most of the companies represented at AFM are distributers and buyers
  • Screenings take place at theaters throughout Santa Monica and Conferences are held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.
  • There are also parties and meetups around Santa Monica including the “Carousel” which is an AFM meetup included as part of the badge price.
  • Here’s a link to the Film Catalogue: https://www.thefilmcatalogue.com/
  • Here’s a link to the Exhibitor List: http://americanfilmmarket.com/exhibitor-list

How AFM Represents Itself:

Here are some quotes from the AFM Website

“Connect with the Global Film Industry”

“Experience the AFM…Develop. Package. Pitch. Finance. License. Distribute. Whatever segment of the film industry you work in, AFM is a must-attend event.”

Check out their webpage to see more: http://americanfilmmarket.com/attendee/

What Alrik thinks AFM Good for:

  • Meeting People: other filmmakers, distributers, sales agents, lawyers, insurance agents, and more
  • Learning about distribution and the current market for films
  • If you’re a distributer, it’s a good place to sell your film to a buyer in a market
  • Finding a distributer for your finished film

AFM is LESS Good for:

  • Making a deal on the spot
  • Securing financing
  • Finding a production partner or development deal

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  • I feel like there are a lot of ways that filmmakers can spend their money in hopes of furthering their career. From pitch fests to AFM, what’s a good use of your money? Hell, even film festivals are a huge expense that I think sometimes is not worth it. I guess the bottom line is to do your research and decide if something is right for your project and your goals. Not every project benefits from these sorts of things, but others do. And many times, when you’re paying for something, you’re really just buying a lottery ticket.