Hong Kong, March 14 (IANS) The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will focus on attracting more Indian film production houses and others involved in the entertainment industry to showcase their wares in Asia’s largest entertainment market FILMART here, said a senior official.
“India is now our target market given the size of its entertainment industry. We have to study the issues faced by the Indian entertainment industry players to come here to showcase their products,” Peggie Liu, senior service promotion manager, HKTDC told IANS.
The 20th edition of Asia’s largest entertainment market, the FILMART- Hong Kong International Film and TV Market with around 800 exhibitors from over 30 countries including Canada, US, Britain, European Union nations, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Vietnam, began here on Monday.
Three countries and regions, namely the Middle East, Cambodia and Macau, have set up their regional pavilions for the first time.
The four-day event is expected to get around 7,500 business visitors from 50 countries.
Last year, there were 784 exhibitors and over 7,180 visitors at the FILMART.
“We do not know the volume of business that is normally done by the exhibitors as they do not share the information with us. However, the annual event that started 20 years back has seen ten-fold increase in the exhibitors from 75 in the year it was first held,” Liu said.
There are only two stalls from Indian players – Indywood Film Market, Kochi and Ultra Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.
“There is business to be done here. That is why we are here again this time. There are opportunities for Indian movie makers to look at overseas markets for their films,” Shyam Kurup, film market director, Indywood Film Market, told IANS.
According to Liu, the newcomers for the FILMART this year are from Dubai, Cambodia, Macau, Confederation of Spanish Producers and others.
Apart from movie, television content producers and animation companies, countries like Cambodia are showcasing the advantage of shooting movies in their locales.
Alongside the FILMART, the three-day Hong Kong Asia financing Forum (HAF) is taking place.
The 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.
Hong Kong has one of the largest film entertainment industries in the world and is one of the world’s biggest film and television content exporters.
A former British colony, Hong Kong acts as the hub of buying and selling Chinese mainland films and TV dramas through FILMART.
Incidentally, the number of foreign films released in Hong Kong far outnumbers the release of local films.
Citing Hong Kong Box Office Ltd’s numbers, HKTDC said in 2015, 59 local films were released in Hong Kong whereas the number of foreign films that were released was 273.
According to HKTDC, Hong Kong has the advantage of bridging the Chinese mainland with the Western audiences and opening a window on the world for Chinese audience.
In 2015, Warner Bros Entertainment and China Media Capital formed a joint venture of $1 billion, headquartered in Hong Kong to develop and produce films for global distribution.
(The writer’s visit is at the invitation of Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)