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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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Solstice Studios’ Mark Gill & NEON’s Elissa Federoff to kick-start socially distanced AFM Nov. 9

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Who isn't tired of "hurry up and wait" with this Superbug? American Film Market has some good news for this year's event. They have figured out how to socially distance this massive film gathering into what looks like a fun time to be had by all, despite the masks and COVID-19 related tasks associated with the Pandemic.

You could say AFM has set the stage for innovation in medically correct shindigs.

All the details are here for a great AFM 2020.

From Screenmancer Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA: The American Film Market (AFM®) today announced its initial speakers, topics, and programming calendar for AFM 2020 Online. Its 70+ sessions will take place over five days, November 9-13 alongside the AFM’s marketplace and screenings at

The AFM’s opening Conference - The Future of Film - will launch with two marquee one-on-one conversations: Mark Gill, President and CEO of Solstice Studios, will take the online stage to discuss his views and predictions of how independent film, the marketplace, and audience consumption will change in the near future.  The morning will continue with a dialogue with Elissa Federoff, President of Distribution for NEON, who will share her insights on the future of feature film distribution and exhibition. 

Gill just realized his goal of having the first new film in theatres since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown with Unhinged, the first film his company also financed. Federoff recently made history for her company with four Academy Award® wins for Parasite, which became the third highest grossing foreign language film ever released in the US.

This year’s lineup will take place wholly online and will bring 200 speakers to two stages for conferences, panels, conversations, workshops, podcasts and presentations. Covering timely topics and issues most relevant to global filmmakers and the independent industry at large, several sessions will center on how to move production and the business forward in the wake of the pandemic.   

Highlights for Brave New AFM 2020

Producing Without a Completion Bond featuring Jill Goldsmith, Co-Business Editor, Deadline, Brad Krevoy, CEO, Motion Picture Corporation of America, Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange, and John Sloss, Founder, Cinetic Media.

Pandemic Production Challenges & Solutions featuring Richard Botto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32, Chris Moore, Producer, Manchester by the Sea and Promised Land, Celine Rattray, Partner & Producer, Maven Pictures, and Jennifer Westin, SVP, Production, MarVista Entertainment.

Keep Calm and Carry On Filming presented in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI) featuring Adrian Wootton, OBE, Chief Executive, Film London and the British Film Commission, Anna Mansi, Head of Certification, British Film Institute, Julia Oh, Senior Commissioning Executive, Film4, and Alison Thompson, Co-President, Cornerstone Films.

Navigating Hollywood During COVID-19 : How To Find Success For Your Project During A Global Pandemic in partnership with the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and featuring Jen Barrett, Head of Entertainment, Creative Shop Facebook, Megan Colligan, President, IMAX Entertainment and EVP, IMAX Corp, Malik Ducard, VP of Content Partnerships, YouTube Mike Jackson, Co-Founder & Managing PartnerLifted Film Co., and Gil L. Robertson IV, Co-Founder, African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).

What’s Working in the Pre-Sales Marketplace featuring Kimberly Fox, Partner & Head of International Sales, MadRiver International, Jeffrey Greenstein, President, Millennium Media, Inc., Jeremy Kay, Americas Editor, Screen International, and Nat McCormick, EVPWorldwide Distribution, The Exchange.

Low Budget Films with Huge Profit Potential featuring John Rhodes, Co-Founder, Screencraft, Nick Spicer, Partner, XYZ Films, and Zachary Tarica, CEO & Director, The Forest Road Co.

Working with Sales Agents featuring Tamara Birkemoe, President, Foresight Unlimited, Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment, and Jordan Yale Levine, Producer, Yale Productions.

Global Sales and VOD presented in partnership with The Film Collaborative and featuring Wendy Bernfeld, Founder/CEO, Rights Stuff, Todd Olsson, President of International, Highland Film Group, Orly Ravid, Founder & Co-Executive Director, The Film Collaborative and Attorney, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, and Gabrielle Rozing, General ManagerFortissimo Films.

Deciphering Streaming Models & the Path to VOD Distribution featuring Audrey Delaney, SVP, Distribution & Worldwide Marketing, Blue Fox Entertainment, Bruce Eisen, President, Digital Advisors

Linda Nelson, CEO, Indie Rights, Lise Romanoff, CEO & Managing Director, Vision Films, and James Schamus, CEO, Symbolic Exchange.

Navigating and Negotiating Intimacy on Set presented in partnership with SAG-AFTRA and featuring Amanda Blumenthal, Founder, Intimacy Professionals Association, Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA President, Jim Kleverweis, Executive Producer, Euphoria, Insecure and Silicon Valley, Alicia Rodis, Executive Team, Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, and David White, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director. 

Casting Global Talent: Who do Latinx Audiences Want to See? presented in partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and featuring Aaron Ashford, Director of Development and Production, Pantelion Films, Liliana Espinoza, Projects Director, NALIP, and Carla Hool, Casting Director.

A Conversation with Lloyd Kaufman: Make Your Own Damn Movie in 60 Minutes or Less!

Facts Matter: Health & Science Accuracy Onscreen presented in partnership with USC Annenberg Hollywood, Health & Society and featuring its Program Director Kate Langrall Folb.

The Black List Can Change Everything About How You Find Future Projects with The Black List’s Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO and Terry Huang, Director of Product and Data.

The Director / Producer Relationship featuring Shaked Berenson, CEO, Entertainment Squad, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Director / Actor, Culture Shock, The Purge (TV Series), Travis Stevens, Founder & CEO, Snowfort Pictures, and Lisa Whalen, Producer, Mandy, Color Out of Space.

First-ever: AFM will also spotlight leading film industry podcasts, special episodes to take place on the AFM stages

The Producer’s Guide: Founder of Broken Road Productions, Producer and host Todd Garner and WWE wrestler turned actor John Cena will discuss Producing Comedy in Today's Hollywood, A Serious Business.

Show Don’t Tell: Director and host Noam Kroll and screenwriter Bryan Hill to talk Screenwriting on a Micro-Budget.

The Filmmakers Podcast: Host Giles Alderson and producer/financier Ian Sharp on Making the Leap from Indie Films to Studio Features.

Indie Film Hustle: Host Alex Ferrari and producer Franco Sama on Raising Money in a COVID World & The Future of Film Distribution.

Film Riot: Host Ryan Connolly and writer/director Colin Levy to talk Directing a Blockbuster Film on an Indie Budget.

This is Your American Film Market® (AFM®) The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. More than US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. Over five days in November, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries access the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend world class conferences, and connect with decision makers. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

View the schedule of sessions and speakers for AFM 2020 Online. For more information and registration, please visit

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

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