Exhibitor numbers up 10% this year to 450

HONG KONG — The third Entertainment Expo is securing its position as a regional entertainment event with more participants and more events.

Filmart is one of the pillars of the Expo and will see exhibitor numbers up 10% this year to 450, said Raymond Yip, assistant exec director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, event organizer. Confab also is expecting more visitors.

“On the trade level, there will be thousands of international buyers and investors visiting Filmart and attending market screenings, which have been significantly stepped up with the co-opening of the market and the festival,” he said.

For the first time, the market will open on the first day of the Expo — March 20 — along with the Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival (HKIFF), which is running for a record 23 days, and the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).

Filmart will feature two new pavilions: Locations World, which promotes Hong Kong as a shooting location, and TV World.

TV World “addresses the trend of growing convergence,” Yip said, adding that there will be a 100-strong delegation from China attending.

Another first will be the Asian Film Awards, a regional event and Expo opener that is organized by HKIFF.

“It is a fitting time for Asian filmmakers to be recognized,” said Wilfred Wong, chairman of the HKIFF Society.

The event will run alongside the Expo’s gala opening; and awards will be given for 10 categories.

In addition to Filmart, HKIFF and HAF, the Expo also includes the Hong Kong Film Awards; Digital Leadership Forum; Hong Kong Music Fair, a separate event for the first time this year; IFPO Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; and the Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards.

The slogan for this year’s Expo, which wraps April 15, is “Get into the Scene.”

However, the Chinese translation differs and says, “The whole city chips in and everyone contributes wholeheartedly,” Yip said.

The translation is fitting as the industry here just learned the government earmarked HK$300 million ($38.5 million) to help lift its sagging production numbers and boost opportunities for emerging talent.

While details haven’t been released, industry insiders all agree that there needs to be cooperation between government and industry if coin is to be effective.

“For the Trade Development Council’s part, we will ally our program to help achieve the good” of promoting the industry, Yip said, adding that government’s announcement was “a very good move.”

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