By MICHAEL GOLDMAN
(One of the foreign sellers who attended that seminal La Costa meeting, Michael Goldman became the American Film Market’s first V.P. of Finance and eventually its president and chairman. He remains active in the organization on its Finance and Market Advisory Committee.)
Hy Hollinger certainly has been involved with and interested in the Hollywood-based International film sellers going back to the origins of our American Film Market and its Umbrella Organization the American Film Marketing Association now renamed IFTA, the Independent Film and Television Alliance
The circumstances leading up to the creation of the AFM were as follows: Lorimar foreign sales head Bobby Meyers was inviting key buyers from around the world to a private sales convention at La Costa in San Diego County.
This went on for a few years in the mid to late ’70’s. At that time Hy wrote an article concerning the high cost and difficulty of doing business in Cannes. This led to a few sales companies reflecting on this issue and questioning why we should spend the money going to Cannes when in fact the key films doing business were the American films.
Bobby got in touch with some of the key sellers and held a lunch to discuss holding a market (in Los Angeles) patterned after the La Costa event. Hy’s article was the trigger that led to the first and subsequent meetings creating the Organization.
One thing we have emphasized over the years is that we had no interest in replacing Cannes as a film market. We were unhappy that prices were rocketing out of control and if we could do our business in L.A. some of us would not need to spend the money in Cannes, but going to Cannes would be a necessity for many of us in addition to the AFM.
As far as I am concerned, Hy was the reporter most interested in and most helpful to the Independents and most especially to the Association and its Market. He kept on top of and reported the many changes in the organizations’ evolution and his reporting helped maintain an interest inits progress, workings, and politics.