March 20, 2008
Hong Kong – First week of Hong Kong Entertainment Expo 2008, the Special Administrative Region’s Asian entertainment industry trade show being held March 17-April 13, saw the conclusion of key events including TV and film market Hong Kong FILMART, the Asian Film Awards (AFA), the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), Hong Kong Music Fair (HKMF), IFPI Hong Kong Sales Music Awards (IFPI TSA), the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum and the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (IFVA). Events still ongoing include the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the Hong Kong Film Awards to be presented April 13; closing the month-long event organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) to promote Hong Kong as Asia Pacific’s film and TV production and distribution hub. March 17 saw Hong Kong FILMART open the Entertainment Expo, which hosted 480 exhibitors from 30 territories, including first-time exhibitors Czech Republic and Sweden, along with Indonesia and Israel group pavilions. Returning group pavilions included Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Canada, as well as Hong Kong majors TVBI, ATV, Mei Ah Entertainment, Media Asia and Emperor Motion Pictures. An estimated 4,800 visitors turned up at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) over the four days with conferences also held to explore digital distribution, Asian co-productions, the Guangdong, China film market, and film merchandising business in the era of new technology. Other highlights of FILMART include TV World, Animation and Digital Entertainment World, Locations World – Asia and the Equipment and Post-production Services World pavilions. Newly added feature, TV World Screening, showcased TV dramas and documentaries from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Poland, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the US. The inaugural Mobile Film Festival Awards Presentation Ceremony was held March 20 at FILMART. March 17’s gala curtain-raiser AFA saw Hong Kong SAR’s acting chief executive Henry Tsang, HKTDC, Hong Kong Film Development Council chairman Jack So, and Hong Kong entertainment ambassador Tony Leung officiate the opening. Lee Chang Dong’s Korean film Secret Sunshine nabbed top honours including Best Film, Director and Actress prizes at the kudos event. HAF saw 25 films selected from 200 applicants as filmmakers pitched to international financiers for financing and co-production opportunities. Featured directors included Korea’s Park Chan Wook, China’s Li Yang, Japan’s Hideo Nakata, as well as Hong Kong’s Phang Ho Cheung, Alexi Tan and Carol Lai. Casting its spotlight on ‘Immersive Media: What’s Next in Creative Digital Content – 3D Cinema’, DELF was attended by Eric Brevig, director of 3D movie Journey to the Centre of the Earth; Lu Sheng Zhang, chief director and creative director of Fuwa, the Beijing Olympics’ animation series; and John Chu, chairman of Centro Digital Pictures. Both the HKMF and IFPI TSA featured exhibits and performances put up by some 70 exhibitors from Hong Kong, China and Germany. New to the HKMF was Talent Showcase where singers and composers were provided with performing and networking opportunities to be signed on by industry professionals.