As LA Bids Farewell To AFM, “New Film Market” American Film Convention Hopes To Take Root This Fall

With the AFM heading to Las Vegas, a group of indie filmmakers are aiming to launch a “new film market and entertainment industry convention” in LA this October.

Organizers say The American Film Convention (AFC) will take place October 15-17, 2024 at Magic Box in Downtown Los Angeles.

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CEO and founder Mitesh Patel, a grassroots independent filmmaker and producer, says the event will incorporate a “market, auction, conference, product and service showcase, workshop, talks and addresses, pitch fest, networking event, and filmed and live entertainment.”

As part of its offering organizers say it is aiming to “fill the gap” left by the departing AFM.

The organizers are ambitious: “The event offers more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space and has room for 400 exhibitors and participants. We expect the convention to draw about 5,000 delegates in its first year,” they said.

Indie filmmaker Jon Fitzgerald, who co-founded the Slamdance Festival and was Festival Director of AFI and Santa Barbara, will serve as Director of Workshops and Conferences.

The event’s website launches tomorrow and it already has a presence across major social media platforms. Organizers could not disclose budget or specific sources of funding but said backing is in place and comes from “industry sources, individuals, and producers” and that a deposit has been put down on the venue. It’s unclear if the event has buy-in from any major film companies so far.

Magic Box’s website says, “Our unique venue can accommodate large scale trade shows and conferences, fashion shows, galas, receptions, holiday parties, to intimate screening parties.” AFC organizers tell us they plan to “build out screening facilities” for the event. The Downtown location will host gaming brand IGN for a trade event this June.

Patel’s production credits include low-budget features Woman In The Maze, Bite The Dust and Instant Karma. He also founded and serves as CEO of the Chandler International Film Festival in Arizona.

“We created The American Film Convention as an innovative entity that’s poised to vault to the forefront of the global film industry and return that focus to the entertainment epicenter of the world, Los Angeles, California,” Patel claimed. “AFC is dedicated to expanding the way industry professionals engage, collaborate, and innovate within the filmed entertainment realm. We’re committed to creating some fresh and innovative programs and present a more all-inclusive forum. AFC intends to supplement rather than supplant the current industry gathering landscape and offerings.”

He continued: “Whether you are a cinematographer, director, actor, writer, producer, or distributor, AFC is for you. All components of the film industry have a place at our convention. We encourage filmmakers to attend, regardless of their budget or stage of production. Whether you are a seasoned filmmaker, an aspiring or established talent, a technology enthusiast, or an industry-minded entrepreneur, our convention offers something extraordinary for all our delegates.”

As for pricing, the event’s press release says “early bird pass at $325 and exhibition space from $3,250”.

This year’s AFM will take place in early November at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The AFM is backed by industry body IFTA, which is unlikely to be perturbed by today’s news.

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