March 1 - AFM announced this morning, in Santa Monica, that AFM has created a strategic alliance with AFI FEST, where both will be held each year, at the same time. "This combination of a festival and a market will merge cultural and commercial activities and provide a broad and rich experience for all participants”, according to Jean Prewitt, AFMA President and CEO.

AFM will be held (again) this fall, November 3-10, 2004 in Santa Monica and AFI FEST 2004 will be held November 4-14 in Hollywood.

AFM badges will allow access to many AFI events, including all public screenings. AFI FEST badges will allow access to the AFM screenings. AFI FEST filmmakers, whose films are part of the festival, will have full access to AFM (and to be able to promote their film to the AFM participant distributors. Shuttle buses will move participants between Santa Monica and Hollywood.

AFMA is the global trade association of independent distributors and producers of motion picture and television programming. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization represents and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 150 member companies from 15 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies, studio-affiliated companies, and financial institutions engaged in film finance. Forty percent of AFMA’s membership and thirty percent of the association’s board are from outside the U.S. Collectively, AFMA members produce more than 350 independent films and countless hours of television programming each year and generate more than $4 billion in distribution revenues annually.

The American Film Market (AFM) is the world’s largest motion picture trade event. The AFM is a global marketplace where more than $500 million in motion picture and television production and distribution deals are closed annually. Each year, approximately 7,000 trade industry professionals convene in Santa Monica for eight days of deal making, screenings, seminars, networking and hospitality. Participants come from more than 70 countries, and include leaders in motion picture and television production and distribution, directors, agents, writers, lawyers, bankers, festival directors, film commissioners and trade groups.

AFI is the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of film, television and other forms of the moving image. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, provides film preservation leadership and explores new digital technologies in moviemaking. AFI's New Media Ventures programs bring together the creative and digital communities, as the department seeks to develop a literacy program for the 21st century, helping young people learn to read and write screens of all sizes-cinema, television, computer and the Internet.

Now in its 18th year, AFI FEST is the longest-running film festival in Los Angeles and one of the most influential film festivals in North America. A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST is a ten-day film festival that screens feature length, documentary and short films from every continent for audiences consisting of entertainment professionals, filmmakers, civic and corporate leaders and a large, diverse population of film enthusiasts.

Films like MONSTER; HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG; OSAMA; CITY OF GOD; DARK WATER; TALK TO HER; NOWHERE IN AFRICA; THE QUIET AMERICAN; NO MAN'S LAND; MONSTER'S BALL; LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL; THE CIDER HOUSE RULES; BEFORE NIGHT FALLS; O BROTHER; WHERE ART THOU? and AMORES PERROS have all premiered at AFI FEST.