On Nov 3 more than 7,000 industry leaders in the independent motion picture production and distribution industry, hailing from more than 70 countries will converge in Santa Monica, Calif. for the independent film markets’ largest global marketplace, American Film Market. Now in its 20th year as the AFM host-city, Santa Monica will once again take center stage and be transformed into a bustling marketplace as film industry executives descend on the city, infusing the local economy with an estimated direct spending impact of 20+ million dollars this year alone.
“Santa Monica is very excited to be the AFM ‘home base’ for the 20th straight year, and we are delighted that the market has chosen to continue this partnership with a commitment to Santa Monica through 2012,” said Misti Kerns, president and CEO of Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming the expected 7,000 attendees and are sure they will find fabulous pre-holiday shopping, unique entertainment and delectable dining in our city. As we did in 2009, SMCVB is requesting that Santa Monica businesses provide an ‘extra personal touch’ in welcoming attendees. Over 80 businesses have already committed to developing creative welcome placards, notations on daily menus and special AFM happy hours to greet the guests, making AFM’s annual visit to Santa Monica an extra special occasion.”
Specials for AFM attendees can be found at SantaMonica.com/AFM or by downloading the free official Santa Monica mobile app.
As has been the case in previous years, both The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and the JW Marriot Santa Monica Le Merigot will be converted into busy marketplaces. All 23 screens on the Third Street Promenade and in the surrounding community will be transformed into AFM screening rooms during the daytime. In addition, eight digital and video screening rooms will be added to meet the 2010 market needs.
“In a time when the nation’s economy and tourism rates are just showing signs of recovery, the economic boost of the AFM is critical for Santa Monica and its businesses. The direct spending impact will generate an estimated $700,000 in taxes, which will go directly to the general fund for the City of Santa Monica,” added Kerns. “There is a good reason why AFM continues to return to Santa Monica. It is the perfect fit for the destination in terms of generating off-season business and it is a community-wide relationship that has lasted 20 years.”
This year, as a result of the tremendous support of local establishments and businesses, Santa Monica was able to secure 100 percent of AFM’s stay at locally contracted hotels. Local businesses are encouraged to show their appreciation for the clientele by posting updated and relevant information for international travelers, such as U.S. tipping customs; or creating AFM prix fix menus, as well as other incentives. Santa Monica’s businesses have been a large part of why the AFM keeps returning to the city year after year as they continually provide quality customer service and quality products.