By Editor-In-Chief: SCOTT A. CAPESTANY
Each year in Santa Monica, one of the worlds most epic and engaging film markets arrives in full force. Having attended this event since 2001, it has lead to more contacts and creative business deals, contacts and insight than any other event I’ve attended in the world.
Each year over 8000 industry professionals from 80+ countries around the globe converge at the beautiful SANTA MONICA LOEWS HOTEL at 1700 Ocean Avenue to interface with international buyers, distributors, financiers and top decision makers in Hollywood and around the world.
Aside from the amazing event itself and the many years I have attended, I’ve always been impressed with how both the AFM and hotel staff treats everyone with dignity, class and professional demeanor throughout the entire property. They respect that we are all there to bring our “A game”. Even the Executive Director of the entire AFM Jonathan Wolf had a few moments to answer my personal questions over the years. A total professional!
I had the honor of being selected a handful of years ago to “pitch” one my own feature film projects “My Silent Voice” as an emerging producer and creator to a massive ball room full of international press and over 1000 industry folks. WOW! What a rush! Around 15 or so were selected from around the world representing around 7-8 countries as I recall. One of the worlds leading experts in interfacing filmmakers with TOP Hollywood decision makers STEPHANIE PALMER from GOOD IN ROOM, hosted the pitch conference. She was exceptionally insightful, engaging and most of all a kind PRO there to help producers like me present our masterpieces to the world.
We each were given 3 minutes to pitch our project and get feedback from some of the panelists. Just moments after, I was approached by a number of financiers and buyers on the floor surrounding me interested in helping guide my magical story of a young deaf girl and her journey to the winners circle with her equine pal. Ironically, since that time, family films have now been a very HOT ticket item of content and huge commodity for buyers and distributors. For me, I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time and those 3 minutes forever changed the my filmmaking career. That same week I meet whom now has become one of my closest and trusting producing partners and consultants on most all of my projects. And a member of the Producers Guild of America to boot! My pitch went well enough to catch her eye and personally approach me to offer working together with me. A moment I will never forget.
I just couldn’t fathom where I would be today in my career, if I didn’t pony up the resources, submit my pitch video and board the plane that cold rainy Fall morning in November.
I strongly encourage filmmakers from around the world to attend this awesome event to connect, engage, pitch, network and interface with folks that can literally change your career and life course!
If you live in LA, you can head down to the Santa Monica (few door down from the Pier) to register any day of the market on-site to buy a badge ranging from appx. $400 to $1500 for most every event and any single conference. Money WELL worth it’s weight in gold! Visit their website here to engage in your own destiny! AMERICAN FILM MARKET (AFM) Follow them on Twitter – @AFMOfficial – for daily updates on what’s going on and also recommend downloading their handy APP.