Two Key Senior Hires Added to the AFM Team

Los Angeles, CA – September 15, 2022 – With the 43rd edition of the American Film Market® (AFM®) set to open live in just under two months, the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) today announced initial details as well as two key hires for the 2022 show. AFM will commence in Santa Monica, CA, at the Loews Beach Hotel and theatres throughout the city, Tuesday, November 1 and run for six days through Sunday, November 6.

The only independently produced sales market in the industry, AFM Exhibitor registration is trending strong with 225 companies and growing, including sales, production and distribution companies, as well as international trade organizations, film commissions and production service companies. Confirmed exhibiting companies include: A24, Altitude Film Entertainment, Charades, CJ ENM, Contents Panda, Emperor Motion Pictures, Film Mode Entertainment, FilmNation, Gaumont, Gaumont, Global Screen GmbH, Hanway Films, Lakeshore, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, MGM Studios, Millennium Media, Pathé Films, Protagonist Pictures, Screen Media, Sierra/Affinity, STUDIOCANAL, Toei Company, Ltd., TrustNordisk, UNIFRANCE, Voltage, WME Independent, and XYZ Films. The current Exhibitor List can be viewed at

“The early commitments and excitement by companies around the world to be in Santa Monica, along with the projects coming together, say that the industry is back to business,” said IFTA’s President/CEO Jean Prewitt.  “While business models have clearly shifted, independent film will forever be built on discovery, collaboration, innovation and serendipity, making the need for annual face-to-face gatherings like AFM essential to our industry.”

Alongside the sales activity, the AFM offers a full schedule of conferences and wide opportunities to network and explore the new industry realities.  The AFM Sessions’ opening Finance Conference – “The Risk Takers” – will bring leading independent financiers, producers and executives Jason Cloth (Founder/CEO, Creative Wealth Media), Milan Popelka (COO, FilmNation), Laura Lewis (Founder, Rebelle Media), and Basil Iwanyk (Founder, Thunder Road Pictures) to the stage Wednesday morning, November 2. The AFM Sessions presented by Cast & Crew and Spcine will feature over 100+ speakers across two stages inside the Loews Hotel.  The current schedule and speakers can be viewed at

IFTA further announced new executive additions to its AFM team. Matthew Thompson and Catherine Girard-Cobb have been appointed to the newly created roles of Co-Managing Directors, AFM, reporting to President & CEO Jean Prewitt. They join long-time IFTA Vice Presidents Jennifer Garnick and Robin Burt to develop and support the overall vision, operations and production of the AFM.

Thompson, who brings 25 years of event management and production experience, will oversee the AFM Attendee segment and is responsible for Registration, Hotels, Transportation, Conference production, and the networking platform, MyAFM.  He previously served as an event director and consultant for clients, including Adweek, the Tribeca Film Festival, Nespresso, and the Skirball Cultural Center.

Girard-Cobb, who will manage the AFM Exhibitor experience, including Registration, Film Screenings, and Furniture & Equipment, is a 20-year event veteran.  She has successfully managed large-scale trade shows and live and virtual events most of her career, most recently for London-based Clarion Events, Quartz North America, and Bobit Business Media’s 20 annual market-specific events.

Prewitt commented, “Matthew and Catherine bring a wealth of combined event experience in line with the AFM.  Their skills and insights complement our established and talented team and strengthen our ability to meet the changing needs of our industry as we look to our in-person return this year and the future.”

About the American Film Market® (AFM®)
The AFM is where the business of film comes to life every November. One of the world’s preeminent film events and the only independently produced international sales market, hundreds of production, sales and distribution companies and thousands of buyers and professionals from every segment of the industry, convene at AFM in Santa Monica for six days of discovery, development, deal making, networking, marketplace discussions and world-class conferences.  More than US$1 billion in finance, production and distribution deals are closed each year on completed films and projects in every stage of development and spanning every genre, budget and language.  The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) and serves as the annual fundraiser for the association.

About the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®)
IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to independent companies from 22 countries.

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