While the 19th edition of the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market or FILMART clocks record numbers, Indian participation is still dismal
The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) drew a record 7,100 buyers, who took part in the 19th edition of the event, the largest of its kind in Asia. While the overall number of buyers represented a 6 per cent increase over last year, overseas visitors were up 8 per cent. And Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan saw double-digit percentage visitor growth.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) over four days at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), FILMART drew more than 780 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions. FILMART is one of the founding events of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, which continues until April 19. Including FILMART, the expo umbrella covers ten high-profile, multimedia events from TV, music and digital entertainment at venues across Hong Kong.
It’s a crucial market for Indian filmmakers to network and find foreign buyers for their content. And even if not exploited enough by the trade in India, FILMART ended on a high note this year.
The Entertainment Expo included the three founding events including the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), which kick-started on March 24 and will continue till April 6. It features screenings of more than 280 films from 50 countries and regions.
This year ‘Filmmaker in Focus’ at the HKIFF is award-winning actress, producer and director Sylvia Chang. 13 of her films, including her latest directorial Murmur Of The Hearts, which was the opening film of the festival, are to be a part of the festival.
The expo has furthermore expanded to incorporate 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 as well as the affiliated event, TV World International Forum.
Major Exhibit Categories
distribution, production and acquisition of film, TV programmes, animation, digital entertainment/ games
terrestrial TV / cable TV / pay TV and satellite broadcasting companies
video and disc production, distribution and rental
internet broadcasting and distribution
pre-production and shooting locations, film commissions
film and broadcasting equipment and technology companies
production and post-production services
special effects, props and costumes
cinema operation and management
film and entertainment festivals / fairs organisers
film and entertainment magazines and medias
finance, film insurance, entertainment-related professional services
service providers to the entertainment industry
As well as showcasing new productions and services, companies used the event to announce their latest projects and clinch deals. Among the slew of deals reported during FILMART was India’s JDR Films’ purchase of Arclight Film’s Jungle Nest. Hollywood-based Arclight also reportedly sold TEANA 10,000 Years Later to Hong Kong and Indonesian companies. Another US company, Shoreline Entertainment, clinched its first deal in Asia, when it sold The Incident, an acclaimed science-fiction thriller, to Japan’s Zazie Films on day two of FILMART. A mainland Chinese exhibitor from Hangzhou found several buyers at the fair with which the company struck deals to sell television programmes said to be valued at over US$5.5 million.
This year’s fair saw a number of significant trends emerging, including strong participation from Asia. Guangdong (Guangdong Motion Picture Industry Association), Malaysia (Malaysia Multimedia Development Corporation, MDeC) and Vietnam (Vietnam Cinema Association) film associations established pavilions for the first time. Regional industry players from the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan returned to FILMART with sizeable delegations to promote their entertainment products and services. In addition to major film companies in Hong Kong, there were also new companies from Macau as well as the United Arab Emirates and Latvia.
The Indian Pavilion returned to FILMART with a delegation comprising Epica Studios, Film Federation Of India, Indian Council Of Impex For Films And TV Programmers, Lodi Films Pvt Ltd, Narendra Hirawat & Co, Raj Rishi Films, Ultra Rays 3D Technology Pvt Ltd and ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited.
An enhanced conference programme this year included six thematic events, including a first-time collaboration with the Producers’ Guild of America (PGA) to organise a panel discussion on ‘Making Asian Films in America’ and focusing on film commissions in the US. The panel discussion featured Stu Levy (Producers Guild Of America), Elizabeth Dell (Producers Guild Of America), Wendy Reeds (Loinsgate) along with producers of top Hollywood Films as well as Academy Award-winning independent films.
More than 400 screenings were held during FILMART, including over 80 film premieres featuring the works of Hong Kong as well as regional and international filmmakers. The ninth edition of TV World welcomed more than 360 exhibitors with the theme of this year’s TV World International Forum.
The US film industry enjoyed a large slice of the FILMART action. A total of 47 US exhibitors participated, including 26 organised by the US Independent Film & TV Alliance. On the sourcing side, the US Commercial Service brought nine missions comprising over 220 buyers from Asia to FILMART, to do business with US exhibitors.