Biz insiders ponder relationship at Hong Kong event

HONG KONG — China’s growing economic might is attracting a lot of interest from Hollywood and the rise of the country is one of the top themes at Filmart, the annual Hong Kong Intl. Film and TV Market.

One exec who has been fielding questions is producer Kevin Geiger, a former CG supervisor at Walt Disney and co-founder of Magic Dumpling, a Beijing-based animation company.

“In the last few years the fact that we work in China has made us a subject of interest. People want to talk further,” he said.

With B.O. gross passing $2 billion for the first time last year and forecast to top $5 billion by 2015, China will soon become the world’s second largest movie market.

“Hollywood needs to tell the same story in new and unusual ways and right now China is hot, it’s interesting and most people in the West don’t know very much about it,” Glenn Berger, DreamWorks Animation producer and scribe of the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, told a Filmart panel on Tuesday.

Producer Tracey Trench said, “I know studio executives and even chairmen of studios who’ve never been to China, who are now saying: I need to go, I need to meet people.”

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have a significant presence in China, including the big studios and prominent indies including Legendary, Relativity and Village Roadshow.

Asia is also attractive because of its low costs.

“You already know (filming) is costing you a ton of money, so you try to figure out every way possible to hedge that financial risk,” Trench said.

The four-day Filmart event at the Hong Kong convention center closes Thursday.

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