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An insiders perspective of AFM

Adam Nelson, the head of acquisitions and distribution for the company EBS Entertainment, helped give a glimpse into what it’s like to rub elbows with some of Hollywood’s biggest players in the film industries largest market. Nelson is a Minnesota native who attended St. John’s University. This year EBS Entertainment brought with them a slate of 9 films, which they represent, in hopes of finding distribution deals in the United States and abroad. The marquee film in their line up is called Heist. Heist was an in house production for EBS, produced under their production label Iceman Productions. The film was written and directed by the head of operations for EBS, Rick Jordan.

According to Nelson, the primary objective at this year at the market was to find both domestic and foreign distributers for Heist. The other goal on the agenda was to acquire the rights to film to add to their repertoire.

Heist is a movie that we’ve been working on for since the late 2007 when pre production began and wrapped in the fall of 2008,” Nelson said. “We’re hoping that hard work pays off this year at AFM.”

Nelson and a group of colleagues were in attendance for the opening of the market on November 4th. Luckily they didn’t have to travel far, their home office is based in Santa Monica. They set up their booth at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in a sea of film professionals.

I asked Nelson to describe what his daily routine is like while he is at the one-week bazaar.
“It’s hectic,” he said “We stay very busy. I spend a lot of the time at the booth trying to lure in potential distributors to look at our lineup. We’re also fielding a lot of questions from producers about our company and what we could bring to their projects. Other than that you’re kind of just all over the place, meeting with people, trying to make connections, going to film screenings… It’s a lot of work and a lot of preparation goes into it…When it’s all done if we’ve done well, it feels pretty good.”

So how did EBS fair? I checked back with Nelson to see if they had accomplished their ultimate goal of finding distributors for Heist. Fortunately for Nelson and EBS their AFM experience had been a positive one. They found a domestic distributor for the film with a company called Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, which is based out of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Echo Bridge is one of largest distributors of indie films nationwide so they felt like their project was in good hands. They also achieved their second goal of finding a film to add to their list of representation, a Brazilian film called The Pit, which is about a Sao Paulo street fighter. EBS plans on brining along the newly acquired film with them to the first ever South American film market that will be held in Argentina in early December, which will be featured in my future post.


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