Review of Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), 2014-2015, China

FILMART is one of the founding events of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong. After nearly 20 years, this one-stop trading and networking platform has become Asia’s largest film market and one of the world’s top three events of its kind in terms of exhibitor numbers.

To promote Hong Kong as the regional hub for distribution and production of film, TV programs and entertainment-related products in Asia pacific, the event see the release and promotion of thousands film and television productions to potential buyers from around the world.

FILMART is one of the founding events of Entertainment Expo Hong Kong. The Entertainment Expo umbrella includes 10 events covering film, TV, digital entertainment and music. Multiple Hong Kong film companies join FILMART to promote their latest entertainment productions to global buyers.

FILMART is now recognised as one of the world’s foremost film and TV marketplaces, promoting cross-media and cross-sector collaborations and facilitating film financing, distribution, production and post-production. Many overseas exhibitors have set up pavilions at FILMART to promote their local entertainment productions, taking part in FILMART to tap global opportunities.

FILMART has long been an important platform for the local entertainment industry to release new productions and announce new development strategies. The Chinese mainland’s entertainment industry is developing fast and garnering more international attention. 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.

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.

In addition to the exhibition, other attractions of FILMART include networking activities, seminars, and screenings. 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.

Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) 2015
The 19th edition of Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) take place from 23 to 26 March at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracting more than 780 companies from over 30 countries and regions. The show welcome record number of more than 7,100 visitors having taken part in of the event. Other than major film companies in Hong Kong, many of them are first time exhibitors from abroad, including companies from the United Arab Emirates, Latvia and Macau.

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 examining “The Rise of TV Streaming – Opportunities and Challenges”.

Industry players from the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taiwan, Canada and Europe return to FILMART with sizeable delegations to promote their local entertainment products. Also, Guangdong (Guangdong Motion Picture Industry Association) and Malaysia (Malaysia Multimedia Development Corporation, MDeC) film associations are setting up their exhibition pavilions for the first time.

The major film exhibitors from overseas include UNIFRANCE and lle de France from France; UK Film from England; IFTA (Independent Film and Television Association) from the US; UNIJAPAN (Japan Association for International Promotion of the Moving Image), JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), SEICF (Sapporo Electronics and Industries Cultivation Foundation) and Okinawa Film Office from Japan as well as KOFIC (Korean Film Council), KOCCA (Korean Creative Content Agency), BIPA (Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency) from Korea and Vietnam Cinema Association from Vietnam.

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 visitors at the fair with whom the company struck deals to sell television programmes said to be valued at a total of over US$5.5 million.

In this edition of FILMART, the Animation & Digital Entertainment World has attracted more than 170 digital entertainment companies to participate, over 30 of them from Hong Kong. The Business of Intellectual Property Zone (BIP Zone) provides intellectual property consultation services while the Short Film Cafe show award-winning works in short film production.

Location World, a popular feature re-introduced at FILMART this year, will present film and TV support services that local film development offices provide for overseas production companies. Recommended shooting locations will also be introduced. Other attractions of FILMART include numerous screenings, press conferences, business matching meetings and networking activities.

On top of these, there was a series of thematic conferences on hot topics such as: “Find Your Opportunities in the Media Convergence Age”, “The New Silk Road of Asia’s Film Industry: Challenges, Opportunities and Partnership”, “Digital Entertainment Summit: T for Transmedia: Immersive Storyworld and A New Way of Audience Engagement”, “TV World 2015 International Forum: The Rise of TV Streaming – Opportunities and Challenges” and “Making Asian Films in America”.

The US film industry enjoyed a large slice of the FILMART action. A total of 47 US exhibitors took part in FILMART, including 26 organised by the US Independent Film & TV Alliance. On the sourcing side, the US Commercial Service brought nine missions comprising over 220 visitors from Asia to FILMART to do business with US exhibitors.

FILMART also marked first-time collaboration with the Producers’ Guild of America (PGA) to organise a panel discussion on “Making Asian Films in America”, featuring producers of top Hollywood Films as well as Academy Award winning independent films. Meanwhile, Jeff Gomez, the transmedia producer for Avatar, Transformers & Halo, was among the speakers at the Digital Entertainment Forum.

FILMART is one of the founding events of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong which continues until 19 April. Including FILMART, the Expo umbrella covers a total of 10 high-profile multimedia events from TV, music and digital entertainment at venues across Hong Kong.

Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) 2014
The 18th Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART), last from April 10-13, with record-high exhibitor and buyer participation. The four-day event welcomed more than 770 exhibitors from 32 countries and regions, underlining FILMART’s importance and Hong Kong’s growing status as the region’s film and entertainment hub.

Exhibitor highlights included the mainland, which counted 155 exhibitors, and the Russia Cinema Fund, which set up its first group pavilion at FILMART, featuring nine film and television companies. France, Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom expanded the size of their pavilions. Other returning pavilions included Chinese Taiwan,Canada, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and the US. The US pavilion, with nearly 40 exhibitors, was its largest yet at FILMART. This year’s Location World included 10 overseas organisations.

FILMART’s TV World, which turns eight, is hosting some 360 exhibitors. The theme of TV World’s International Forum this year is “New Era of Asian Reality Shows.” Other theme zones include: Locations World, spotlighting location shooting; Animation and DE World, featuring more than 30 local exhibitors in a Hong Kong DE Pavilion; the Business of IP Zone; and the Short Film Cafe, which is presenting more than 30 short films and microfilms.

Among the region’s major film-financing events, this year’s HAF was held 24-26 March. Nearly 30 film projects from 11 countries and regions have been selected, attracting film investors, producers and distributors from all over the world. Projects chosen include Game, a thriller from Hong Kong comedian Lam Tze-chung, and Angel Whispers, the directorial debut of actress Carrie Ng, who won Best Actress at the 30th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.

Details of this year’s HKIFF, 24 March to April 7, was announced on 27 February. At the 33rd HKFA, 13 April, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 19 awards was presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in the local film industry. Independent film and visual media in Hong Kong and throughout Asia was on show at the 19th edition of ifva, 13-23 March. An ifva highlight this year was the “Storytelling Series,” with eight stories selected by screenwriter and critic Kee-to Lam, including Pang Ho-cheung’s “Summer Exercise” and Mak Hei-yan’s “Lovers’ Lover.”

FILMART’s conference series with “Multiplying Your Revenue: The Power of Online Media. Other industry conferences examine the region’s TV reality shows (25 March), Asia’s next generation film industry (26 March), and the latest in digital entertainment (26 March).

More than 400 screenings, over 80 world premieres, and more than 70 special events are taking place. In addition, a TV wall has been set up, featuring FILMART and entertainment-related news from Weibo.

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.