The 20th edition of Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. One of the founding events of Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, FILMART is now recognised as the world’s foremost film and TV marketplace facilitating important deals in film financing, distribution, production and post-production, and where cross-media and cross-sector collaborations are promoted. Participation in FILMART has increased more than 10-fold from 75 exhibitors in the first edition to 800 exhibitors from more than 30 countries and regions this year, including the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, India and Vietnam. Three countries and regions are setting up their regional pavilions for the first time, namely the Middle East, Cambodia and Macau.
Trading platform for the global entertainment industry
Major film industry players in Hong Kong keenly support FILMART as their prime trading platform, which is reflected through the repeat participation of major industry players including Pegasus Motion Pictures, Emperor Motion Pictures, Media Asia Distribution, Mega-Vision Project Workshop, Sun Entertainment, Mei Ah Entertainment, One Cool Film Production, China 3D Digital Entertainment, Distribution Workshop, TVBI, PCCW Media and MediaQuiz Production and Distribution. Sil-Metropole Organisation is participating for the first time to showcase their new entertainment products for the coming year. One of Hong Kong’s special effects companies that specialises in snow and disaster scenes has set up a film set on site. On the set, “actors” are left stranded at a deserted North Pole laboratory after a fictitious car accident.
The enormous size and potential of the Chinese mainland’s film market is captured at FILMART, with mainland exhibitors comprising the largest country of origin participation at the fair. A number of mainland provinces and cities have set up regional pavilions, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong, Sichuan, Guangdong and Hangzhou. Chongqing is staging its regional pavilion at FILMART for the first time, showcasing nearly 35 productions from around 10 producers and introducing Fuling, Yubei and Wulong as film locations. Blockbusters such as Transformers, Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers were shot on location in Chongqing.
In addition to the exhibition, other attractions of FILMART include networking activities, seminars, and screenings. The programme of this year’s FILMART is enriched through collaboration with different organisations, and includes a variety of industry forums featuring leaders in the fields of film, TV, digital entertainment, post production, animation and music to share their insights. Among the guest speakers are the filmmakers of Mad Max: Fury Road, Taken, The Bullet Vanishes, and of animation works Monster Hunt, One Piece, McDull and Attack on Titan.
Promoting digital entertainment is a major feature of FILMART. Sponsored by CreateHK, the Hong Kong Animation & Digital Entertainment pavilion has gathered more than 30 local digital entertainment companies to showcase their latest services, including 2D/3D animation, digital special effects, mobile apps, smartphone games and multimedia designs. Together with the exhibitors at the Animation & Digital Entertainment World pavilion, 200 digital entertainment producers are taking part in this year’s FILMART, including companies from France, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.
Opening ceremony of the 12th Entertainment Expo
Officiating guests at the opening ceremony this afternoon included John Tsang, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong SAR Government; Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC; Terry Lai, Chairman, HKTDC Entertainment Industry Advisory Committee; Li Jingsheng, Head of TV Drama Department, China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television; and Leon Lai, Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador as well as representatives from the supporting organisations of the expo’s 10 events.
Entering its 12th edition, the Entertainment Expo features a wide variety of exciting activities, among which FILMART, Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) are founding events. The seven core events include Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), Hong Kong-Asian Pop Music Festival (HKAMF), IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award, ifva (Incubator for Film and Visual Media in Asia Festival), Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit, Digital Entertainment Summit and TV World International Forum.
TV World International Forum
Another highlight of FILMART is TV World, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with 370 exhibitors. The theme of this year’s TV World is “Belt & Road Business Opportunities for the Global TV Industry”. Leading figures will explore how China’s Belt and Road Initiative can create business opportunities for the TV industry and discuss the latest market trends.
Film financing and digital entertainment opportunities
Taking place alongside FILMART are the Hong Kong – Asia Financing Forum (HAF), the 9th Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit and the Digital Entertainment Summit. The HAF is an established film financing platform in Asia. The three-day event provides Asian filmmakers with opportunities to explore cooperation with top film financiers, producers, distributors and buyers, who will select 25 to 30 films for HAF 2016 Projects. This year, the HAF received a record number of more than 350 applications. Among the shortlisted entries five are from Hong Kong.
For the Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit, the theme this year is “Special Effects in Films and Format Transformation”. The summit will be held tomorrow (15 March), and speakers from Hong Kong and across Asia will share their experiences in digital film post-production and analyse the latest developments in digital cinema technology, 4K post-production workflow, virtual reality application and 3D special effects production. Speakers will include the special effects experts behind such productions as Mermaid, Keeper of Darkness and The Monkey King 2.
Meanwhile, the theme for this year’s Digital Entertainment Summit is “Expert Dialogues: How to Present Ideas in the Digital Era”.
Annual signature film events
For film enthusiasts, the annual Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is a must-attend event. This year’s HKIFF will be held from 21 March to 4 April, featuring more than 240 films from 66 countries and regions. Sixty-three of the screenings will be world, international or Asian premieres.
To recognise the extraordinary achievements of local film professionals, the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards will be held on 3 April, with 19 awards to be presented.
For independent film lovers, the 21st ifva will host the CINEMA 2.0 Media Art Exhibition: Surviving the Glass System. The show will focus on the theme of surveillance, examining how cinema can be a medium for control as much as expression.
Pop music festival
Asia’s music scene is the focus of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Limited (“IFPI Hong Kong Group”) as it stages the 6th Hong Kong Asian-Pop Music Festival (HKAMF) on 18 March. The festival promotes music culture and builds a cross-market platform for the music and media industry in Asia. The event has invited music superstars from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to perform and promote cultural interaction. Performing artists include Korea’s AOA, Japan’s w-inds, Taiwan’s F.I.R. and Hong Kong’s Andy Hui. Emerging talents from the eight regions, including Hong Kong singer Sheldon Lo, will also compete for the HKAMF 2016 Super Nova Award.
The 14th IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award will be held on 29 March to recognise the achievements of singers, composers and record companies over the past year.