AFM Opts to Stay in Santa Monica for 6 More Years

American Film Market made the decision after exploring a move to downtown Los Angeles

After considering a move to downtown Los Angeles, the American Film Market has decided to remain in Santa Monica through 2017.

The Independent Film & Television Alliance, which stages the annual week-long global film marketplace, announced agreements on Thursday that will keep the AFM in the city where it has been based since 1991.

American Film Market"We tirelessly explored every option to ensure the AFM would have the best long-term home," said IFTA chairman Paul Hertzberg in a statement announcing the new agreements. "We look forward to many more successful markets with the beach as our backdrop."

The AFM will continue to use the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel as its hub, with additional exhibition space and conferences at the Le Merigot Beach Hotel and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

The nearby Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, to be renovated and expanded, will serve as a venue for AFM red-carpet events.

A new cinema complex, a Metro Rail terminal and a new park and urban village are also planned for the area over the next few years.

The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that the AFM will add $100 million to the local economy over the six years it has committed to remain there.

Before making the announcement, the IFTA had explored moving the AFM to the L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles. In October and November, an online petition encouraging the market to remain in Santa Monica drew hundreds of signatures of AFM attendees.

The petition used the Film Independent Spirit Awards' 2010 move from Santa Monica to L.A. Live as an example of why the move to "soulless spaces in the middle of a crowded downtown" would not work.

The Spirit Awards moved back to Santa Monica the following year, though Film Independent continues to stage the Los Angeles Film Festival downtown.

The IFTA also announced dates for the next six AFMs. The eight-day events will begin on Oct. 31 in 2012, Nov. 6 in 2013, Nov. 5 in 2014, Nov. 4 in 2015, Nov. 2 in 2016 and Nov. 1 in 2017.