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7,500 participants from 50 countries and regions witnessed at FILMART and EntertainmentPulse –

7,500 participants from 50 countries and regions witnessed at FILMART and EntertainmentPulse -

The recently concluded Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) and EntertainmentPulse, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), attracted over 7,500 participants from 50 countries and regions and over 760 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions. Notably, there was a significant year-on-year increase in ASEAN exhibitors and buyers, 50 per cent and six per cent, respectively.

FILMART showcased a wide range of the latest film, TV and animation works as well as cutting-edge technologies in film production, including the debut of a virtual production studio in a collaboration with Hong Kong creative tech firm Votion Studios. Several MoUs were signed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in film and entertainment.

Promoting ASEAN and trade cooperation

In recent years, the film and entertainment industry in ASEAN countries, particularly Thailand, has experienced robust growth. In addition to the Thai Pavilion set up by the Thai Ministry of Culture, FILMART also held a Thai Day on opening day to leverage Hong Kong’s platform for industry development and encourage collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand.

Hong Kong SAR chief executive John Lee led a delegation to visit three ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, last year, encouraging ASEAN businesses to leverage Hong Kong’s platform to further grow their entertainment industry. Following the visit, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia staged a country pavilion for the first time at FILMART to showcase their film and TV productions. Rina Dayamanti, festival director of Jakarta Film Week and one of the pavilion representatives, expressed that Indonesian exhibitors were keen to meet a large number of Mainland Chinese buyers at the fairground and to explore the possibility of producing Indonesian versions of mainland IP projects.

The HKTDC also signed MoUs with several organisations, including the Department of International Trade Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Commerce and the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural cooperation. Additionally, a MoU was signed with the Shanghai Broadcasting Film & Television Producers Association to diversify bilateral cooperation in entertainment beyond co-productions.

Film companies leveraged FILMART’s platform to announce their latest productions and upcoming plans. Notably, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group unveiled the “Hong Kong Cultural and Art Industry Revitalisation Program”, committing to invest no less than HK$5 billion over the next five years to reinforce collaboration with Hong Kong’s cultural and entertainment industry.

To support Hong Kong’s growth as an innovation-driven economy and regional IP trading centre, FILMART this year strengthened its online platform, promoting exhibitors’ creative IPs, providing business referrals and facilitating business matching. As of early March, over 1,000 film and entertainment works have been uploaded to the platform.

First-time Indonesia Pavilion exhibitors Talamedia announced that Cercamon, Dubai-based global film sales firm, has acquired the worldwide rights of Crocodile Tears, a film co-produced by Talamedia and production companies from France, Germany and Singapore.

Another first-time Indonesia Pavilion exhibitor KawanKawan Media, which has produced award- winning films, also announced they concluded principal photography of their latest feature, Tale of the Land, which is now in post-production.

Euro-Asia co-production opportunities in the spotlight

The Hong Kong Film Development Council launched the Hong Kong-Europe-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme, thanks to the Hong Kong SAR Government’s investment in the Film Development Fund, to encourage more international productions to come to Hong Kong to collaborate with Hong Kong filmmakers.

One of the guest speakers at EntertainmentPulse, Catherine Souyri-Desrosier, International Department director of Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, commented, “Co-production is at the heart of France’s cultural policy to promote cultural diversity, cultural exchanges and cross-fertilisation. As France has developed a proactive policy to support co-productions with more than 60 bilateral treaties, including with four countries in Asia: China, Cambodia, South Korea and India. We look forward to collaborating with outstanding Asian crews and developing high-quality productions.”

New wave in Hong Kong cinema

In recent years, Hong Kong has seen the emergence of talented young directors, whose works have made their mark in the global film industry, ushering in a new wave in Hong Kong cinema. Many of them were supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s First Feature Film Initiative and Film Production Financing Scheme.

At the concurrent EntertainmentPulse, Hong Kong film director Stanley Kwan said, “The Hong Kong SAR Government and industry veterans should assist high-quality films in reaching international audiences through various channels and bring new directors to people’s attention to encourage more new talents to create.”

Cross-media events at FILMART

The Digital Entertainment Summit featured at EntertainmentPulse explored trending topics in the world of digital entertainment, including animation and cross-border collaboration. Shimizu Shinji, chief advisor of Toei Animation, the animation production company behind box office hits Ikkyū-san and One Piece, shared his insights on the application of digital entertainment in animation creation. Furthermore, across animation, digital effects and interactive solutions, 38 Hong Kong production companies at the Hong Kong Animation and Digital Entertainment Pavilion showcased Hong Kong’s latest wave of young creatives.

FILMART is not only a trading platform for the film and entertainment industry, but also a showcase for music producers. Led by music director Dr Mui Kwong Chiu, the inaugural Hong Kong Film Music Fiesta – Rhythm of Martial Arts Music Concert featured iconic theme songs from classic Hong Kong films.

The online platform of FILMART will remain open until 13 April. Registered users can rewatch EntertainmentPulse seminars and connect with global buyers and exhibitors to explore more business opportunities.

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