AFI, AFM Joins Forces


FEATURE by Harriet Robbins

LOS ANGELES -- The AFM marches steadily ahead now, celebrating its 25th anniversary. This international film market located in Santa Monica mimics the Cannes Film Festival and is drawing buyers, sellers and industry professionals, bringing diverse personalities together in a unifying way.

My time was spent visiting the South Korean delegations: Cinema Service, CJ Entertainment and Cinceclick Asia. Cinema Service, represented by Michael Kim, president/CEO Josh Lee and Jenny Chung, offered a wide variety of thrillers, action and horror films to tantalize the foreign buyers at the market. Its 2004 Fall lineup covers all tastes.

OJ Entertainment is one of the leading film companies in Korea, endeavoring to bring quality product to the worldwide viewing audience. As represented by CEO Mark Shaw and his cohorts, Catherine Park Kini Kim and Jun Kim, the company's film catalogue reflects a myriad of work, including current releases as well as future projects.

Cineclick Asia's booth was manned by managing director Youngloo Suh as well as Sangeun Chi and Justin Choi, and offered an array of films in all genres.

The atmopshere was busy and hectic at the AFM; however, all courtesies were extended and I look forward to visiting the trade show again in 2005.

AFI and AFM linked together for the first time in Nov. 2004. The AFI, based at the Arclight Theatres in Hollywood, and the AFM, working out of Loew's Hotel in Santa Monica, were miles apart in distance but solid partners in achievement.

AFI's mission to preserve the art of the moving image provided an impressive number of films on an international level. Though these two events were functioning at the same time they managed to bring together the world of film. Difficult logistic problems notwithstanding, they are spiritually united to showcase the best entertainment possible. This was a noble attempt and if the glitches can be worked out in future, the film world will be the better for it.

AFI, now in its 18th year, lived up to its mandate to present the best contemporary films from around the world. All told a collection of 136 films from countries were shown. Many of these excellent films will undoubtedly win Oscar nominations this year. The AFI is to be congratulated for bringing such an outstanding number of films to FEST 2004.

Thanks to AFI and AFM, those of us in L.A. had the opportunity not only to watch some wonderful films but to meet some of the actors and filmmakers who created them. Hats off to both organizations for a job well done.