The AFM Sessions Adds Panels Focused on Social Impact and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Featuring Lion Forge Animation, NAACP, Outfest, Participant, Pepperdine University, Philmco, REFRAME, SAG-AFTRA, SIE Society & Vice Studios

The 43th American Film Market® (AFM®) opens its doors today, November 1, and welcomes the global industry back to Santa Monica for the first time since 2019. For six days, film finance, production, sales and distribution executives from 70 countries will be in attendance for screenings, meetings, networking, and panels, and to close deals on both completed films and projects destined to reach audiences around the world.

The AFM will welcome 300 exhibiting companies representing thousands of films and projects in every stage of production. The United States will have the biggest exhibitor presence, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The world’s leading buyers will also be in attendance with companies from more than 68 countries confirmed to date with registration still ongoing. The largest numbers come from the United States, followed by Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, Spain, and France. Buyers from the world’s leading digital platforms are also confirmed.

AFM continues its renowned programming, the AFM Sessions, at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Over four days, November 2-5, AFM will present 32 sessions on two stages focused on the topics, opportunities, and practical information most relevant to global filmmakers, featuring more than 100 thought leaders, decision makers and experts.

New sessions just added to the program, are included below: The full programming schedule can be found at:

On the Arcadia Stage on Thursday, Nov. 3, AFM’s When Films Change the World panel will explore how films have a greater opportunity than ever to inspire and empower social awareness and change on a mass scale with panelists Danny Gabai, VICE Studios U.S, Elizabeth Haggard, Participant, Jonathan Prince, Philmco Media, David Steward II, Lion Forge Animation, and moderator Robert Rippberger, SIE Society.

Also, on Nov. 3 the Engage Symposium: 21st Century Independent Filmmaking presented by Pepperdine University, will focus on equity and access and on inclusive storytelling practices and feature Cedric the Entertainer, A Bird and A Bear Entertainment with Deon Taylor and Roxanne Avent Taylor, Hidden Empire Film Group.

On Friday, Nov. 4 How Platforms & Networks Approach Independent Content will feature Cameron Douglas, Fandango, Sam Harowitz, Tubi, Jennifer Vaux, The Roku Channel, and Heidi Chung, Variety Intelligence Platform.

AFM’s Palisades Stage will host diversity, equity and inclusion focused sessions, including:
Beyond Tools for Culture Change: Building Your Production’s Gender Equity Action Plan in partnership with ReFrame on Thursday, Nov. 3 with Alex Schmider, GLAAD, Andria Wilson, ReFrame and Pamala Buzick Kim, Free the Work.
The Debt: Black Equity in Mainstream Culture in partnership with NAACP onFriday, Nov. 4, with Brandan “BMIKE” Odums, Artist + Activist, Ivan J. Juzang, Motivational Educational Entertainment Productions Inc., Kelle Rozell, Color of Change, and Kyle Bowser, NAACP.
Beyond Representation: The Future of Producing LGBTQ+ Stories for Social Impact co-presented and curated with Outfest on Friday, Nov. 4 with Chester Algernal Gordon, The Inspection & Pier Kids, Martine Joelle McDonald, Outfest, Sav Rogers (He/Him), Trans Film Center/Forward Alum,
Steph Ouaknine, Amazon/Wondery, and Whitney Skauge (They/Them), Breakwater Studio.
Setting New Standards for Hair and Makeup Equity in partnership with SAG-AFTRA on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Among many others, The AFM Session speakers include Milan Popelka, FilmNation, Jason Cloth, Creative Wealth Media, Howard Cohen, Roadside Attractions, Ashley Stern, Picture Perfect Federation, Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film, Jeff Annison, Legion M, Jeffrey Greenstein, Millennium Media, Laura Lewis, Rebelle Media Clay Epstein, Film Mode Entertainment, Miranda Bailey, Cold Iron Pictures, and George Hamilton, Protagonist Pictures, Ross Putnam, Verve Ventures, Nick LoPiccolo, Paradigm Agency, Jason Richman, United Talent Agency.

LocationEXPO® will also take place alongside the market at the Loews Hotel over the course of six days – November 1-6 and feature more than 30 Film Commissions, Government Agencies, Production Facilities and Services from around the globe.

The American Film Market is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
For more information visit For the Exhibitor List:; For AFM Screenings:

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