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"Filmmakers are artists who cannot afford their canvases"

Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the American Film Market AFMIt's time for one of the world's biggest film markets to commence; on 5 November LA will be welcoming thousands of film professionals from all over the world looking for new business at the AFM. 

Speaking to KFTV, Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the American Film Market dicusses the impact of the event and tells us which sessions not to miss. 

The event is traditionally busy but an increase in sales could be spotted in recent years. We asked Wolf - with California just having reached a small triumph when it comes to being able to offer film incentives – how he would describe the role of production incentives in the current market place?

“Filmmakers are artists who cannot afford their canvases. Any source of funding is good for the artist and good for the industry. It is wonderful that countries and states compete to support the artist.”

How many attendees are you expecting this year and how much business do you project these attendees to conduct collectively?

“We expect about 8,000 attendees this year from 80+ countries – similar to last year. Approximately US$ 800m to US$ 1bn in business will be closed.”

What would you describe as this year’s main focus when looking at the panel and events calendar?

“More companies are making big budget films and more companies are making low budget films. The industry is headed in two directions. We hope to provide valuable information to those pursuing both paths.”

Which markets (countries, States or continents) do you feel are growing and getting an increased presence/importance within the business sphere at the AFM?

“Of course, when people talk about growth the first country that is mentioned as China. We will probably be mentioning China for the next 10 years. Additionally India and much of Asia will continue to see an increased presence at the AFM in the coming years.”

What is the event you are personally most looking forward to this year and why?

“I am very excited about our Producers Forum. We bring together 400 experienced producers for four days of hosted learning sessions and receptions. For four days and no matter who they see or talk to that person has also produced a film - just like them. Last year we heard that many new relationships formed throughout the four days. It was fantastic.”

Which event would you describe as a hidden gem and a must-attend for producers?

“It is not hidden but all producers should attend the AFM Pitch Conference. This is very different than most pitch sessions. Instead of critiquing the project, our panel of experts critique the pitch. This is where producers learn to sell.”  

KFTV would like to say a special thanks to Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the American Film Market for agreeing to and taking the time for this interview.

American Film Market AFM