Forum brings filmmakers, financiers together

HONG KONG — The first Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) kicks off its five-day run today in an attempt to “revitalize and reinvigorate” regional filmmaking.

“We’re looking for new ways to finance and produce projects,” said Wouter Barendrecht, who’s running the event and helped launch Rotterdam’s CineMart, on which HAF is modeled.

The forum will showcase projects by 22 Asian filmmakers, including Hong Kong directors Stanley Kwan, Sylvia Chang and Clara Law.

HAF is designed as a series of private meetings, parties and receptions to allow filmmakers and financiers to meet and ink deals.

Barendrecht, whose full-time job is co-chairman of Fortissimo Film Sales, compared the participants to potential brides and grooms looking to make a successful match.

He said the forum intends to emphasize introducing international bankers to local filmmakers.

American studios will also be out in force, with representatives expected from New Line, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, Warner Bros., Columbia, USA Films and MGM.

The forum is running in conjunction with the 24th annual Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival, which wraps April 27, and the 19th annual Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday.

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