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AFM 2010 panels

Executives from Lionsgate, Summit, Mandalay, Lifetime, SyFy, DreamWorks, Disney, Fox, Sony, The Weinstein Company and WME among Participants

The 2010 American Film Market today released a seminar and conference schedule encompassing a broad cross-section of key Hollywood and global players who are converging for the Nov. 3-10 market.

Now in its 31st year, the AFM will showcase panels examining film financing, social media, piracy, distribution and marketing. The sessions will include prominent filmmakers, financiers and industry executives.

New for 2010, the AFM Finance Conference has expanded to two days. It will bring together CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives to explore the future of independent film financing, emerging trends and financing options.

AFM Finance Conference panelists include: Nick Meyer, President & CEO, Sierra Pictures; Danny Perkins, CEO, Optimum Releasing; Steve Ransohoff, President, Film Finances, Trevor Short, Chief Financial Officer, Nu Image, Graham Taylor, Head of Global Finance & Distribution Group, WME; Stewart Till, Chief Executive, The Icon Group; and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman, The Weinstein Company.

The PGA’s panel New Strategies on how to Package and Finance Your Independent Project Overseas will include Richard Gladstein, President, FilmColony and Cathy Schulman, President, Mandalay Pictures.

A Studio Finance and Distribution seminar will focus on how independent producers can make their films more attractive for studio acquisition. Panelists include Chris Aronson, SVP Domestic Distribution, 20th Century Fox; Steve Bersch, President, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group; Ron Hohauser, CFO, Summit Entertainment and Jeff Small, President & COO, DreamWorks.

Other panels at AFM range from Piracy: The Real Cost of Free, to Film Marketing & New Social Media - Maximizing Exposure in the Internet Era. Highlights also include Women in Film President Jane Fleming moderating The Chick Flick, a seminar on Hollywood waking up to the growing powers of the female demographic.

For additional information about all seminars and conferences, schedules, prices and venues, visit The following is a complete list of this year’s seminars and conferences:

Friday, 5 November, 2010: 9:00am – 12:30pm

AFM Finance Conference: Day 1

De-mystifying the Economic Implications of Electronic Delivery and the Recession on Film Performance
The Salter Group will present an analysis of the impact of the recession, technological changes and consumer behavior on the economic performance of the film industry over the last few years to determine, by deconstructing the ultimate statement, whether the well publicized decreases in home video revenues have been or will be offset by other line items. The Salter presentation will be followed by a panel discussion of industry experts.

P. John Burke, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Initial Panelists:
Harvey Weinstein, Co- Chairman, The Weinstein Company
Patrick Russo, Founding Principal, The Salter Group

The Expanding Role of Local Distributors in Production and Finance
In light of the dramatic contraction of the US independent arena, local distributors around the world are stepping up to become more influential in the production and finance decisions made around films on both a local and international level. Topics that will be discussed include:

How bigger independents are able to tailor films to their market needs by taking bigger equity or multi-territory positions in them. How the reduction in big-spending US independents has tipped the balance to the international partners. How foreign independents are pre-buying long before US players, making their market knowledge of greater importance to the production. How local distributors are increasingly becoming involved in local production on both a pre-buy and development and production basis. How are independents combating the aggressive studio programs to produce and acquire local product? Are independents closer to their markets than studios and better able to release parochial domestic films?

Mike Goodridge, Editor, Screen International
Nick Meyer, President & CEO, Sierra Pictures,
Danny Perkins, CEO; Optimum Releasing;
Graham Taylor, Head of Global Finance & Distribution Group, WME;
Stewart Till, Chief Executive, The Icon Group

Saturday, 6 November, 2010: 9:00am – 12:30pm

AFM Finance Conference: Day 2

International Tax Incentives: Annual Update
Learn the details of the best and worst incentives from around the world from top industry producers, completion guarantors and financiers.
Will French, President, Film Production Capital, LLC
Mary Ann Hughes, VP, Film & Television Production Planning, The Walt Disney Company;
Mark Manuel, EVP of Structured Finance, Lionsgate
Steve Ransohoff, President, Film Finances, Inc
Jake Rose, Head of Movies & Mini-Series Production, Sony Pictures Television;
Trevor Short, Chief Financial Officer, Nu Image

Driving Original Productions Through U.S. Pre-Sales
How to raise production financing through U.S. presales to cable and independent film distributors. The panelists will discuss the types of films that they are looking for, including budgets and casting considerations.

Paul Hertzberg, President, Cinetel Films, Inc.
Elizabeth Cullin, VP, Scheduling & Acquisitions, Lifetime Entertainment;
Kevin Kasha, EVP, Worldwide Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Anchor Bay Films;
Thomas Vitale, EVP, Programming & Original Movies, Syfy
Tom Zappala, EVP, Program Acquisitions & Scheduling, ABC Cable Networks Group

AFM Seminars

Thursday, 4 November: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Hong Kong: Asia's Co-production Centre and Gateway to the China Market
The Hong Kong FILMART Seminar presents a panel of veterans who will not just share their views on how Hong Kong plays an effective role in the successful co-production models but also identify opportunities in the most lucrative and promising region in the world, that is Asia, and particularly China

Programmed by: Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Moderator & Panelists: TBA

Saturday, 6 November: 2:00pm – 5:30pm

Pitch Me!
Whether you have a meeting with a studio head or you bump into an actor in an elevator, you need to be able to pitch your film well. Learn the art of the pitch in this intensive session where a dozen filmmakers pitch their project to a panel of industry experts - agents, producers, and production execs - who will give their unvarnished feedback on each pitch, saying what worked, what didn't, and why. Space is limited - advance registration is recommended.

Caroline Baron, Producer, A-Line Pictures
Panelists: TBA

Sunday, 7 November: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Film Marketing & New Social Media - Maximizing Exposure in the Internet Era
The rules for marketing independent films are changing quickly. The internet and social media are continuing to evolve as a revolutionary and cost-effective way to target audiences. Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Blogs, YouTube and Google have already become indispensible tools for spreading the word and creating excitement for upcoming movies. But traditional marketing remains important, particularly for theatrical release. How should these methods be combined and maximized as part of a successful distribution approach, particularly in the U.S. markets? Our panel of media/marketing experts and savvy filmmakers will attempt to separate myth from reality to suggest pragmatic and balanced approaches to marketing independent films.

Programmed by: British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Los Angeles Moderator:
John Alan Simon, Writer/Director, Radio Free Albemuth; Producer, The Getaway; Former Staff Writer, New Orleans Times Picayune; Member, BAFTA/LA Board of Directors, Chairman, Learning & Events Committee
Sheri Candler, Marketing/Engagement Media Strategist
Philippe Dias, Chairman & Founder, Cinema Libre Studios
Sacha Gervasi, Director, Executive Producer, Anvil! The Story of Anvil; Screenwriter, The Terminal
Susan Jackson, President & Co-Founder, Freestyle Releasing
Jill Jones, SVP, International Marketing & Publicity, Summit Entertainment LLC
Beth Portello, SVP, Marketing & Publicity, Cinema Libre Studios

Sunday, 7 November: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Piracy: The Real Cost of Free
As independent film and media makers are seizing digital tools to reach global audiences, the same tools are allowing segments of the public to increasingly engage in illegal downloads and peer-to-peer file sharing. Filmmakers, executives, and technology experts discuss the many issues surrounding piracy and intellectual property in the digital age, and what you can do to protect your work.

Programmed by: Film Independent
Michael Donaldson, Donaldson & Califf; author of Clearance and Copyright
Initial Panelists:
Tony Knight, Senior Project Manager, Rovi
John Sloss, Founder, Cenetic Media and Cenetic Rights Management

Monday, 8 November: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Resources for Independent Filmmakers
What are the requirements and benefits of working with SAG and WGAW? It’s easier than you think! Join SAGIndie, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America, West representatives as they explain how their contracts work and the resources they offer to filmmakers.

Programmed by: SAGIndie and Writers Guild of America, West
Todd Amorde, Member Services Representative, WGAW
Lise Anderson, Senior Director of Contracts, WGAW;
Mark Friedlander, National Director of New Media, SAG;
Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director, SAGIndie;
Kay Schaber Wolf, Independent Film Executive, WGAW

Monday, 8 November: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Studio Finance and Distribution
The current state and emerging trends in film financing and distribution, including how independent producers can make their films more attractive for studio acquisition or distribution.

Programmed by: ScreenPlayLab
Robin Rowe, President,
Chris Aronson, SVP Domestic Distribution, 20th Century Fox;
Steve Bersch, President, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group;
Ron Hohauser, CFO, Summit Entertainment;
Jeff Small, President & COO, DreamWorks

Tuesday, 9 November: 11:00am – 12:30pm

The "Chick Flick" Grows Up
Is Hollywood waking up to the growing powers of the female demographic and the female driven story? Salt, The Kids are Alright, Precious, Julie and Julia, Volver, An Education, The Blind Side. The chick flick is not narrow in theme anymore. Women now represent the majority of moviegoers. The chick flick has been liberated to reflect the lives and real stories of complicated, diverse, modern women. Female actresses are drawing bigger audiences and bigger paychecks than ever before. Is this a passing trend or a long-awaited evolution in the business of film? Has the fact that in Salt where the lead role was written for a male actor and went to a female actress finally thrust Women in Film to break through the glass ceiling? Join us in our discussion where we will explore the impact of these new trends on the successful development, production, international marketing and distribution of these films.

Programmed by: Women in Film International Committee
Jane Fleming, President of Women in Film Los Angeles: Partner, Amber Entertainment
Panelists: TBA

Tuesday, 9 November: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

New Strategies on how to Package and Finance Your Independent Project Overseas
Independent Producers are struggling more than ever to get their movies made, and the old mantra still remains: financing is out there, IF you can find it. Join the Producers Guild of America as we will once again convene some of the most prolific and creative producers, financiers, packaging agents, and consultants to discuss real strategies producers are using today to get their international projects made.

Programmed by: Producers Guild of America
William Stuart, Producer, Aurora Productions, International Committee Co-Chair, PGA
Richard Gladstein, President, FilmColony;
Paul Green, President, Anonymous Content
Bill Johnson, Partner, Inferno Entertainment
Larry Kopeikin, Attorney, Morris, Yorn, Barnes & Levine, P.C.
Stacey Parks, Film Specific;
Cathy Schulman, President, Mandalay Pictures

About the AFM
The business of independent motion picture production and distribution - a truly collaborative process - reaches its peak every year at the AFM when more than 7,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, seminars, premieres, networking and parties. Participants come from over 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Founded in 1981, the AFM has become the premiere global marketplace where Hollywood’s decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof. Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those that haven’t started shooting yet — making AFM the must-attend industry event.

The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world’s producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. More information can be found at
The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world’s producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. For more information, visit

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