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New setting for AFM '91 brings more exhibitors.

New Setting For AFM '91 Brings More Exhibitors

The 1991 American Film Market will see premieres of 197 independently produced feature films. This represents more than two thirds of the 291 pictures to be shown at the 11th AFM, which runs February 28 - March 8th.

According to Tim Kittleson, the AFM's executive director, the films making their market debut represent an increase of 12 per cent over 1990. On the other hand, the total number of pictures screened reflects a 5 per cent decrease over last year.

AFM will be buoyed by an AFM study, showing that independently produced and distributed films from AFM members racked up $1,139 million in sales to theatres, television and home video during 1990. That's an increase of 3 per cent ($36 million) over last year's volume.

The largest markets for the independents were Europe and Far East, with Europe accounting for 65 per cent of all sales. The Europe totals was $744 million. The Far East share was 21 per cent.

Latin America accounted for the largest revenue rise (13 per cent) over the preceding year, with growth due primarily to home video sales. Mexico actually doubled the income of the independents.

The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe showed sales of $13 million, 75 per cent more than in 1989. The UK, which had been disappointing in recent years, went up 71 per cent in theatrical sales, and France rose 14 per cent (to $32 million).

Television, according to AFM statistics, produced record revenues in 1990 and outgrossed home video. Sale of films to Germany, for instance, rose 177 per cent, (to $76 million) and 70 per cent, (to $34 million) in Spain.

Home video was generally down in the international market, with the exception of Latin America, where, due to the reduction of piracy, the number of legitimate distributors went up.

The AFM share of the international market increased last year to $362 million (32 per cent), in terms of business done at other competitive international markets. According to AFM, the Cannes Festival got 30 per cent, and MIFED, only 15 per cent.

"These are not so much difficult times as they are changing times," commented William Shields, the AFM chairman.

AFM unfolds at Loew's Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Buyers from 46 countries have registered so far.

Of the 202 companies licensing films, 102 are members of AFMA, and 76 are from overseas. There will also be 13 market affiliates involved in films-related services.

During AFM, films will be shown at 21 screens-the AMC Santa Monica, the Mann Criterion, the Cineplex Odeon Broadway on the Third Street Mall, and Laemmele's Monica Theatres, all within a four block distance from the hotel.

As of late January, AFM registrations for the AFM were about seven percent ahead of last year, according to Kittlson.

Frank J. Biondi, president and CEO of Viacom International, will be the keynote speaker at the AFM, kicking off a four-day forum series of in-depth seminars on March 4th, that will address the issues of the independent film in the global marketplace.

The forum series,, will begin with three leading filmmakers discussing "Global Filmmaking: The International Perspective." On the panel will be producer/actor Michael Douglas; director Renny Harlin; and producer Ed Pressman. Moderating will be Peter Hoffman, Carolco president and ceo.

On March 5, five executives will address the question of "Pan European Distribution: Fact or Folly?" The panel will consist of Frans Afman; Ernst Goldschmidt, Sovereign Pictures' chairman; Dieter Kosslick, president of the European Film Distribution Office; Fulvio Lucisano, president of Italian International Film; and Nik Powell, co-chairman of the Palace Group.

On March 6, four independent distributors in the U.S. will discuss "U.S. Independent Distribution: What's the Future?". On the panel will be Meyer Gottlieb, president and coo of Samuel Goldwyn Company; Rosine Handelman, vp and general manager of MK2; Robert Shaye, president and ceo of New Line Cinema; and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of Miramax Films.

The final seminar, held on March 7, is on "Capital Sources in the 90's," with Errol Cook, managing director of Wertheim Schroder & Co., Michael Garin, senior managing director of Furman Selz; Yoshiro Kumaki, joint general manager of The Industrial Bank of Japan; and Jeffrey Logsdon, vp of Seidler Amdec Securities.
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Title Annotation:American Film Market
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:710
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