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American Film Market to Boost Santa Monica Economy


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November 1, 2018 -- The world's largest film market is back in Santa Monica for the 28th straight year providing a boost to the local economy after the peak summer season.

This year's market -- which started Wednesday and ends November 7 -- is expected to bring more than 7,000 participants from 80 countries to the Downtown area.

Santa Monica tourism officials estimate the trade show and conference will help fill the beach city's hotels, restaurants, shops and theaters and generate $20 million during its eight-day stay.

“AFM provides an important economic boost to our city, from supporting our hospitality industry to infusing the destination with innovative ideas," said Misti Kerns, president/CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT).

"That this business comes at a time of year that is typically off-peak for our tourism industry, makes the group ideal for our community,” Kerns said.

With its "plethora of theaters," Santa Monica is an ideal location to screen the more than 300 films showcased at the festival, tourism officials said.

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The focal point of the annual festival is Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, which is transformed into a bustling marketplace.

During the event key members of the international motion picture and television industry -- including producers, distributors, sales agents and directors -- attend screenings, network and cut deals, participate in panels and attend multiple parties.

“Santa Monica has been our home for 28 years and every year the AFM experience exceeds the previous.” said Jonathan Wolf, the market's managing director.

The participants, he said, "always look forward to their annual trip to Santa Monica.”

In 2011, Santa Monica, which has been hosting the AFM since 1991, nearly lost the event to LA Live in downtown Los Angeles, where hotel rents were lower and more plentiful ("American Film Market to Stay in Santa Monica," December 9, 2011).

But some members of IFTA, which was negotiating the deal, resisted the move, saying they didn’t want the marketplace in a “soulless space in L.A.”

During the annual event, local businesses will offer nearly 60 special deals and discounts that "provide AFM guests with an authentic experience during their visit," SMTT officials said.

To learn more about AFM specials visit


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