Indie filmmakers hire mouthpiece

LOS ANGELES: The American Film Marketing Association (AFMA), a

Hollywood trade group representing independent producers and

distributors, has hired Greg Ptacek away from Rogers & Cowan to be its

first director of communications.

"The level of AFMA activity has reached a place where there needs to be

more integrated communication between the organization and the media,"

says Ptacek, adding that the non-profit hopes to "take an increasing

role in public affairs."

Ptacek is charged with raising the AFMA's profile with business

journalists and policy makers. Currently, the Motion Picture Association

of America (MPAA), which represents the major studios, is the most

sought-after voice for producers on issues such as runaway production,

the move of film and TV shooting to cheaper locales.

The AFMA, which represents more than 170 independent film companies,

hopes to increase its profile in such discussions by highlighting that

the low-budget films handled by its members are most affected by issues

like runaway production.

Ptacek is also in charge of publicity for the organization's annual

American Film Market trade show, which has helped broker distribution

and licensing deals for independent movies, like last year's Traffic.

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