'Sedate' AFM Still Generates Deals8 Nov, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey
To the newcomer at the American Film Market, everything would have looked as advertised. It was a bustling movie trade festival with more than 500 films shown, and hundreds of meetings taking place between distributors, producers, content owners and directors.
But while many struck distribution deals and a reported record 8,300-plus attended the event held Oct. 31-Nov. 7 in Santa Monica, Calif., some expressed concerns.
“There wasn't a lot of new product to see,” said Michael Baker, VP of acquisitions and development for ThinkFilm. “A lot of suites I went into had little to no new films for domestic available. I went to fewer screenings than ever before and wasn't excited by most of what I saw. Overall, a disappointing year.”
Ed Baran, a Los Angeles publicist who represents several independent companies, said he didn't come away with a negative impression of the event. It was a productive week for his clients, after all. But he did call this year's AFM “more sedate.”
“It's the least ‘Hollywood' it's ever been,” Baran said.
Still, for people like Larry Brahms, head of MTI Home Video, it was old Hollywood where he found his finest gem during the show.
“We actually ran into the guy who controls everything in the Roy Rogers estate,” he said. “We managed to pick up the first film where Roy and (third and final wife) Dale Evans met …. Can you imagine the synergy between them in that film?”
The film, The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944), highlighted a slate of 15 movies MTI acquired during the show. Brahms said his goal going in was to find quality European films that saw a theatrical release. “If it takes a strong dub to get these films to market, I want to try it,” he said.
MTI was successful in also snapping up:
Other companies that made a splash during AFM:
“We are very pleased to be extending our long-standing distribution relationship with Genius, whose top management and fantastic relationships with major retailers make it one of the best DVD distributors in the business,” said John Flock, president and COO of Peace Arch Entertainment Group.