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By: Paul Hertzberg | December 8, 2011

The American Film Market (AFM®), the premier event of the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®), will remain in Santa Monica through 2017, IFTA leadership announced today.

New agreements will keep the AFM at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, its home since 1991, with additional exhibition space continuing at JW Marriott's Le Merigot Beach Hotel and with conferences continuing at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

IFTA Chairman Paul Hertzberg noted, "We tirelessly explored every option to ensure the AFM would have the best long-term home. We look forward to many more successful Markets with the beach as our backdrop."

IFTA President-CEO Jean Prewitt commented, "Our stated goal from the start of this process has been to provide the best environment, resources and value for the world's buyers and sellers and, after long and careful deliberations, we believe remaining in Santa Monica will achieve all of those goals."

"In Santa Monica, the AFM will soon have access to a new 12-screen multiplex, a 2,000-plus seat world class venue for red-carpet premieres, more hotel rooms, light rail transportation to Los Angeles and Hollywood, and even a spectacular new park across from the Loews." IFTA EVP and AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf said. "We are thrilled that everyone in the city came together to make this happen."

Over the next few years, Santa Monica will be transformed by a variety of public improvements and development projects that will significantly enhance the American Film Market, including:

•AMC Entertainment is developing a new Santa Monica cinema complex with 12 screens, including an IMAX theater. It is anticipated to open in late 2014 or early 2015.

•The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium will be rehabilitated and expanded, providing AFM with an ideal venue for red-carpet premieres. Expected to be completed in late 2014, the renovated auditorium will include a removable seating system that can accommodate more than 2,000 or create an open space for large events.

•At least 700 hotel rooms will be added to the downtown area, including mid-priced hotels from Marriott and Hampton Inn.

•A light Metro Rail terminal at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, a five-minute walk from the Loews, will connect Santa Monica to Los Angeles and Hollywood. Dubbed the "subway to the sea," it is expected to be operational in 2015.

•A stunning seven-acre park on Ocean Avenue directly across from the Loews Hotel is scheduled for completion in late 2013, along with an adjoining new mixed-use urban village with restaurants and shops eyed for 2014.

Confirmed dates for AFM in Santa Monica are:
•October 31 - November 7, 2012
•November 6 - 13, 2013
•November 5 - 12, 2014
•November 4 - 11, 2015
•November 2 - 9, 2016
•November 1 - 8, 2017

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau research estimates that the AFM will contribute more than $100 million to the local economy over the next six years.

About the AFM
The business of independent motion picture production and distribution - a truly collaborative process - reaches its peak every year at the AFM, when 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, premieres, networking and parties. Participants come from more than 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world's press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Founded in 1981, the AFM quickly became the premiere global marketplace where Hollywood's decision-makers and trendsetters all gather under one roof. Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals will be sealed - on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production - making the AFM the must-attend industry event.

The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the trade association representing the world's producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. More information is online at

Jennifer Garnick

Jim Benson

For Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel:
Paul Leclerc
Managing Director
1. 310.576.3113

For Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau:
Misti Kerns

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