The 21st edition of the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) sprang into action for a four-day run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A premier trading platform for the international entertainment industry, this year’s FILMART welcomes more than 800 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions. In addition to major film companies in Hong Kong, many overseas exhibitors have set up pavilions at FILMART to promote their local entertainment productions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, India and Vietnam. More than 330 exhibitors from 15 Belt and Road countries are also taking part in FILMART to tap global opportunities. These exhibitors include those from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey and Mongolia.
Multiple Hong Kong film companies are returning to FILMART, including China 3D Digital Entertainment Ltd, Distribution Workshop, Edko Films, Emperor Entertainment Group, Media Asia, Mega-Vision Project Workshop Ltd, Mei Ah Entertainment Group, One Cool Pictures Ltd, Pegasus Entertainment and TVBI. Fantastic Television Limited, Digital Domain and Fox Networks Group are making their debut to promote their latest entertainment productions to global buyers.
Record number of Chinese mainland exhibitors
The Chinese mainland’s entertainment industry is developing fast and garnering more international attention. This year, FILMART welcomes more than 220 exhibitors from the mainland, the largest number in the event’s history. Many cities and provinces, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong, Sichuan, Guangdong and Hangzhou, are returning with regional pavilions, and the governments of Ningbo and Fujian are joining the show for the first time.
Three seminars will be held during FILMART to examine topics related to the mainland market and provide industry participants with the latest market intelligence and analysis, including “What’s Next for the Chinese Film Market?”, “China Animation: Ready to Hit the International Market?” and the “Sino-Foreign Co-produced Films Summit”.
Documentaries take centre stage
Documentaries are a new focus at this year’s FILMART. In addition to more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their works, there will also be a seminar titled “Opportunity for Documentaries in Asia”, where moderator Ruby Yang, winner of the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, will discuss relevant topics with global industry leaders.
A number of screenings of award-winning documentaries are being held during the event for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the genre. They include My Voice, My Life and In Search of Perfect Consonance, directed by Ruby Yang, and The Chinese Mayor, which won Best Documentary at the 52nd Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.
New digital production and special effects showcased
Digital entertainment is another highlight of FILMART this year. The Hong Kong Animation & Digital Entertainment pavilion, sponsored by CreateHK, gathers more than 30 local digital entertainment companies featuring their services, including digital production and special effects, post production, mobile apps, smartphone games and multimedia design, such as 360-degree photography and virtual reality (VR).
In addition, two seminars related to digital production and special effects will be held, including “Digital Entertainment Summit 2017: The Past and Future of Filmmaking, from Content and VFX Perspectives” and “The 10th Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit 2017”. Industry experts will discuss the opportunities arising from the rapid development of related technologies and share their insights.
Twelve thematic seminars led by global industry leaders
Apart from the exhibition, FILMART also features an extraordinary line-up of speakers, inviting leading industry representatives from the film, digital entertainment, animation and other sectors to share their views and insights. Speakers include Andrew Hevia, co-producer of Moonlight, the latest Academy Award winner for Best Picture; Genki Kawamura, producer of Your Name and Confessions; representative from Digitalidea, the post production company behind such hits as Train To Busan and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God: The Lonely and Great God; and a representative from Baxe Fx, the special effects company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World.
At the seminar “What’s Next for the Chinese Film Market?”, speakers will include renowned filmmaker Stanley Tong, and representatives from Wanda Media Co Ltd and J.Q. Pictures, the company which invested in and produced such films as The Golden Era and American Dreams in China.
The wide-ranging FILMART programme also includes multiple networking events, thematic seminars, press conferences and screenings, including some 40 world and international premieres.
Opening ceremony of 13th Entertainment Expo
The opening ceremony of Entertainment Expo, Hong Kong this afternoon featured a high-profile cast of officiating guests, including: Paul Chan, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government; Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HKSAR Government; Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC; Yang Zheng, Deputy Director-General, TV Drama Department, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of TV Drama Department; Terry Lai, Chairman, HKTDC Entertainment Industry Advisory Committee; and Leon Lai, Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador. Also in attendance were representatives from the organisers and supporting organisations of the 10 events under the Entertainment Expo umbrella, including three founding events and seven core events. The Entertainment Expo continues through 25 April at venues across the city.
The three founding events are: the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong Film Awards Presentation Ceremony (HKFA); while the seven core events are: the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), the Hong Kong Asian-Pop Music Festival (HKAMF), the IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award, ifva (Incubator for Film & Visual Media in Asia Festival), the Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit, the Digital Entertainment Summit and TV World International Forum.