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Demand for Space at ’05 AFM Is Up:

The American Film Market (AFM) reported last week that it has booked an additional full floor of rooms at Le Merigot Hotel in response to the early and “overwhelming” demand for space at its 2005 gathering in November.

The rooms will be used as offices by exhibitors attending the market.

It’s the most exhibit space AFM has needed in its 26-year run. The announcement was made by Jonathan Wolf, executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) and managing director of the American Film Market.

The 2005 AFM will take place November 2 to 9, 2005, in Santa Monica.

Specifically, the AFM has expanded its exhibit space at Le Merigot from the lobby level, which was added last year, to the second floor, which contains an additional 32 offices, for a 10 percent increase in total exhibition space over the November 2004 market.

Le Merigot, which is next to AFM’s longtime HQ, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, is also the site of the AFM’s video screening rooms and seminars.

“The demand for AFM offices reflects the renewed strength of the global independent film industry,” said Wolf. “Le Merigot Hotel is a perfect addition to the AFM.”

The AFM is also adding five new HD screening rooms for exhibitors. Specially built for AFM, the rooms will be located at the Miramar Fairmont Hotel. This will bring the number of screens at the AFM to 31 — 23 theatrical, five HD and three video.

The projected number of attendees for 2005 is expected to exceed 2004’s attendance of 7,100.

The AFM and AFI FEST are continuing the alliance they formed last year to stage the only market-festival in North America.

The AFM is the world’s largest motion picture trade event. More than $500 million in motion picture and television production and distribution deals are closed annually.Participants come from more than 70 countries, and include motion picture and television production and distribution companies, directors, agents, writers, lawyers, bankers, festival directors, film commissioners and trade groups.

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