American Film Market Tightens Security at Loews Hotel (EXCLUSIVE)

Organizers of the American Film Market are limiting access at the headquarters Loews Hotel to the official AFM participants, Variety has leaned.

When the 39th AFM starts on Oct. 31, admittance to the Loews will be strictly limited to those with credentials. In the past, attendees coming into the hotel lobby in Santa Monica, Calif., have been forced to deal with a wide variety of unsolicited pitches from unofficial sources.

In earlier years of the film market, sales agents and producers having business meetings in the lobby bar were infamously beseiged by uncredentialed wannabes flogging scripts or seeking acting roles.

Jonathan Wolf, who is starting his third decade as AFM managing director, told Variety that the move is in response to attendees’ concerns. “The lobby of the Loews should be the epicenter of the AFM but nobody wanted to be in the lobby,” he added.

As a result, the AFM will beef up security at the entrance to the Loews. In past years, security has been focused on the access to hotel rooms-turned offices on upper floors and to meeting areas. Wolf said that the change should make it easier for attendees to get around the eight-floor facility to the array of meetings that buyers and sellers schedule — often dozens in a single day.

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