Delegation announces promo plan, new projects
A 60-strong delegation of Hong Kong’s top filmmakers visited Beijing this week to announce a promotion plan and bow a raft of projects.The delegation was led by Hong Kong Film Development Council chairman Jack So Chak-kwong and included senior members of the Hong Kong Film Board and helmers Gordon Chan and Peter Chan. Hollywood is watching how Hong Kong shingles fare in the notoriously tricky Chinese market, as it could provide a template for U.S. films to get into the restricted but potentially massively lucrative country. Among other tasks, the group introduced 13 Hong Kong helmers and promoted its post-production businesses. Although the former U.K. colony was returned to China by the British government in 1997, Hong Kong is still considered separate from China in many respects. However, co-productions between the self-governing state and mainland companies are starting to dominate the B.O. on both sides of the border. Gordon Chan, head of promotion campaign Hong Kong Film New Action, said the concept of two different film markets would gradually be phased out in favor of a pan-Chinese film market. “We all do Chinese-language films. Hong Kong directors heading north is not only reasonable but also the trend of the times,” he told a news conference. The promotion plan will include a film development fund to finance small- and medium-budget films and nurture new talents. The fund will provide about 30% of the funding for projects, which will typically have budgets of less than $1.5 million.