The American Film Market is one of the three major international film
markets of the world. Without it, we in
the film industry would be sitting on a two-legged stool.
Along with the Cannes Marche and the European Film Market during the
Berlinale, this is where the business which supports all of us in the film
business takes place.
It is imperative for filmmakers, buyers, sellers and financiers to know
what the competition is doing, to see what films – similar in sensibility to the types of films which may be your stock in trade – are
selling, and to whom they are selling and who is selling them. All who must
intelligently strategize their entry into the marketplace must come armed with
this knowledge. SydneysBuzz.com’s Rights
Roundups Reports give detailed and comprehensive listings with links to
sellers’ and buyers’ sites and to Cinando and IMDbPro sites to facilitate
8,000 industry leaders from over 80 countries converged in Santa Monica
November 5-12th for eight days of deal‐making, screenings,
seminars, and events at the American Film Market (AFM), produced by the
Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA).
the Studio System News Insider’s interview with
Jonathan Wolf, AFM’s Managing Director, US$ 3 billion is spent by participants
to produce 2,000 new projects; over 400 distributors were on-hand to purchase
the rights to those projects.
At this year’s AFM screenings,
the majority of the titles – 115 — were dramas; thrillers numbered 79;
action/adventure films, 63; comedies, 61; and 43 were horror films. If this
apportionment is standard, the question is, Why does every sales agent tell
filmmakers that they don’t want dramas?
Dynamic moving pictures of
explosions and chases use fewer words, have simpler plots and sell best at the
AFM, but they cost much more to make and therefore are much riskier.
Comedies and horror films run
into trouble when traveling, due to cultural differences. Animated films
are also at AFM, though in less supply.
“We’ve got 50 companies who are
in what we call mini-booths, where they only spend $3,900 for the space,” says
Wolf, “yet they’re bringing films and having a commercially acceptable experience.
If you can make a couple films for $300,000 and sell each for $600,000, you
have a business.”
Among the 70 new exhibitors and
46 new buyers at AFM this year, South Korea continues to make big strides in
the global marketplace. With 71 buying companies, it’s the largest of any
territory outside the U.S. “South Korea continues to take a leadership role and
it’s driving tastes throughout Asia, including Japan. We have more first time
buyers from South Korea than from any other country,” says Wolf. “It’s a very
transparent economic system [in a] very vibrant country and marketplace.”
China of course remains on the
rise, up 19 percent from last year with 31 buying companies at AFM and 51
companies if Hong Kong is included, although difficulties abound both in
securing financing and in distributing films. “It’s a difficult market to get
to know from a Western standpoint,” says Wolf.
Africa seems to be kicking in at
last. This year, AFM held a roundtable to discuss African coproductions.
“Africa is a growing marketplace,” says Wolf. “The middle class there,
proportionally, is growing faster than any other area of the world … Africa’s
film industry is growing at a rapid pace.” This is great news because the
demand for our African American stories and stars, always underutilized, should
finally find a growing market demanding to be served.
Buy The Rights Roundup Report now
and get ahead of the competition as you plan for the European Film Market at
the Berlinale February 5 – 15, 2015.