AFM Conferences

Chris Bremble, Founder & CEO, Base Media Group, from left, Peter Shiao, Founder & CEO, Orb Media Group. Wang Tianyun, Producer, Rick Nathanson, Line Producer, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend”, “Bunraku”, “Red Cliff”, “Dragon – The Life of Bruce Lee”; Miao Xiaotian, President, China Film Co-production Corporation, and April Ye, CEO, Film Finances China, participate in a panel discussion at the American Film Market (AFM) conferences held at the Fairmont Hotel on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo Richard Shotwell/Invision for IFTA/AP Images)


AFM Conferences give attendees knowledge, insight, access, value and a rare opportunity to hear from the industry’s global thought leaders, decision makers and experts who all converge annually at the AFM.


Thursday, November 3

China Conference 

sponsored by China Beijing Film Delegation

9:15am – 10:45am

Producing in China   

Leaders from China’s film industry will reveal how producing in China can be different than the west. From talent and crews to culture and restrictions to the daily realities of producing and co-producing, everything will be covered.

Moderator: Jonathan Landreth, Managing Editor, ChinaFile

Initial Panelists: Melanie Ansley, Producer/Co-Executive Director, China Hollywood Society

11:15am – 12:45pm

Marketing & Distributing in China

Unencumbered by legacy infrastructures and business models, Chinese companies are reinventing film marketing and distribution on a massive scale. The companies that are leading this revolution will share their visions and disclose what the future holds.

Moderator:Patrick Frater, Asia Bureau Chief, Variety

Initial Panelists:

Yugang An, CEO, Beijing In-Entertainment Media Co., Ltd

William Feng, Head of Greater China, Vice President of Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association

David Lim, CEO, Beijing Weying Technology Co., Ltd.


Friday, November 4

Finance Conference I: The Future of Global Film Finance

 9:15am – 10:45am

The 360 View

Leading CEOs, filmmakers, financiers and studio executives converge to explore the future of independent film financing, emerging trends and the impact of new platforms on global film finance.

Moderator: Joe Chianese, EVP, EP Financial Solutions


David Glasser, President/COO, The Weinstein Company

Micah Green, Co-Head Film, Finance, CAA

Myles Nestel, Co-Founder/Partner, The Solution Entertainment Group

Miguel Palos, CFO, IM Global


11:15am – 12:45pm

How Equity is Successfully Investing in Film

The film equity market is active with pro-investor models for high net worth individuals and private equity and hedge funds. This session will explore the deal structures that attract equity and the types of projects that generate the most interest.

Moderator: Brad Sharp, CFA, Managing Director, Valuation & Financial Advisory Services, FTI Consulting

Initial Panelists:

Mark Manuel, Partner, Kilburn Media

Robert Sherman, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Don Starr, Chairman & CEO, Grosvenor Park Media


Saturday, November 5

Pitch Conference

sponsored by I AM FILM

9:15am – 12:45pm

Pitching Essentials

A good pitch can get a bad film made while a bad pitch can leave a terrific project languishing on the shelf. Pitching is part art (it’s creative), part science (it needs to follow a tight script) and part sales (you have to wow them). Conference attendees will learn the essential rules and tools of pitching from the experts.

Presenter/Moderator: Pilar Alessandra, Instructor/Consultant, On The Page


Tobin Armbrust, President, Virgin Produced

Cassian Elwes, Independent Producer/Agent


Sunday, November 6

Finance Conference II: Funding Films Today

sponsored by Mexico City Film Commission


9:15am – 10:45am

Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets

Moderator: Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32

Initial Panelists: Michael Ryan, Partner, GFM Films

11:15am – 12:45pm

The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen

Our panel of experts will be presented with five film packages – each with partial or limited funding. They will explore and disclose how each film could be fully financed. Five case studies; five solutions.

Moderator: Joe Chianese, EVP, EP Financial Solutions


Shirley Davis, Senior Vice President, Physical Production, Alcon Entertainment

Stefan Lütje, Partner, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange

Adrian Ward, SVP & Division Manager, Entertainment Industries Division, Pacific Mercantile Bank


Monday, November 7

Production Conference

sponsored by .film

9:15am – 10:45am

Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace

Pre-Selling to territorial Buyers is key to financing most independent films. What are they looking for? Which genres and talent? How do you set a budget that will reflect the marketplace? Discover which projects are most likely to sell globally before they are made.

Moderator: Paul Hertzberg, President & CEO, CineTel Films, Inc.


Tannaz Anisi, President, 13 Films

Paul Bales, Partner & COO, The Asylum

Tamara Birkemoe, President & COO, Foresight Unlimited

Eric Brenner, President, ETA Films

Caroline Couret-Delègue, Managing Director, Truffle Pictures

11:15am – 12:45pm

Working with Talent Agents

Most independent films hope to attach a name actor/actress. They help secure presales, raise production financing and foster interest with audiences and the media. Our panel of agents and producers will explore how to work with talent agents to get the best cast for your film.

Moderator: Kevin Iwashina, Founder & CEO, Preferred Content

Initial Panelists:

Jessica Lacy, Partner/Head, International & Independent, ICM

Maren Olson, Agent, CAA

Rena Ronson, Partner/Head, Independent, UTA


Tuesday, November 8

Distribution Conference

9:15am – 10:45am

Working with Sales Agents

To reach the global audience, an independent producer’s best ally is their international Sales Agent. Our panel of experts will discuss how to find and work with the right Sales Agent.

Moderator:Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment

Initial Panelists:

David Lancaster, Producer, Rumble Films

Douglas Mankoff, Producer, Echo Lake Entertainment

11:15am – 12:45pm

The Future of Video On Demand

VOD is now the largest source of revenue for many films. Are we heading towards a future where all films will be available worldwide and where every film will be discoverable by its audience? Producers, distributors and platforms will disclose who is making money, how they are doing it, and what the future holds – separating fact from fiction.

Initial Panelists:

Steve Nickerson, President, Home Entertainment, Broad Green Pictures

Hanny Patel, Vice President, Video Marketing, AT&T Entertainment Group

Meyer Shwarzstein, President, Brainstorm Media


Conference Location:

Fairmont Hotel, Starlight Ballroom – 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica