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AFI FILM FEST PARTNERS TEAM UP FOR VEGAS EXPO : A Two-Week-Long Film, TV, Trade Show Dubbed CINETEX

March 12, 1987|VICTOR VALLE | Times Staff Writer

The partners who resurrected Filmex as AFI Film Fest Los Angeles teamed up again Wednesday to unveil an even more ambitious project--a combination film-and-television festival, international conference and trade show that they said will be the largest of its kind.

Dubbed CINETEX, the two-week event will be held in Las Vegas next March and will offer as many as 150 panel discussions and workshops and a showcase for film, television and video products and services.

It is being organized by the American Film Institute and the Interface Group, a Boston-based organization primarily involved in electronic communications exhibitions, which put up the largest share of money to back the AFI Film Fest.

At a news conference that also served to note the American Film Institute's 20th anniversary and the opening of the AFI Film Fest, AFI officials announced that the Interface Group would provide another $200,000 grant for next year's movie festival.

But the firm plans to make an even larger financial commitment to CINETEX, Sheldon G. Adelson, its president, said in a telephone interview.

"This will become the international embodiment of the industry because everyone will be there," Adelson predicted. "There will be an enormous amount of networking and an incredible amount of information exchanged and business that will be conducted."

AFI officials said that CINETEX (Cinema-Television-Exposition-Congress) is expected to earn profits for the Interface Group and greater recognition for the American Film Institute.

"It's a highly ambitious, far-ranging project," AFI Director Jean Firstenberg said.

Firstenberg explained that CINETEX will be innovative in its attempt to bring together all segments of the film and TV industries, not only from the United States but also from other countries. She said that it will be a unique cultural and artistic event for the film and TV distributors, exhibitors, producers, artists and archivists who attend.

While saying it is too early to provide many details, Adelson said that Interface would spend "millions" on what is expected to become an annual event. He estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 people would attend the first year and said that CINETEX may take two to three years to become profitable.

By contrast, he said that Interface's COMDEX exposition, an international computer and electronics show, attracted 90,000 guests to Las Vegas last year.

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