You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

H.K. on fast Boat to china

Hong Kong Filmart 2012

As filmmakers from all over the region gather for Hong Kong Filmart, the territory is fighting to keep its identity in the face of competition from mainland China and Taiwan. But the Hong Kong biz has found a way to thrive: Focus on pan-Chinese themes.

Hong Kong filmmakers are becoming more confident about negotiating the market in China, which is now central to the development of the local biz.

Look for major Hong Kong input into all the following projects coming this year from the booming China market: A film by helmer Feng Xiaogang, “1942,” with Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins among the cast; a project from “Let the Bullets Fly” helmer Jiang Wen that is expected to start shooting this year; the latest from Chen Kaige, now shooting in the Chinese city of Ningbo.

“Hong Kong’s relationship with China continues to be very important, because without the market in mainland China, it’s difficult to support the budgets,” says Ricky Tse, head of distribution and sales at Media Asia.

“In terms of exhibition, the Hong Kong film business is still healthy. In terms of production it’s quite dependent on the China market. More and more films are being shot and will be shot for mainland China audiences.”

These remain challenging times for the HK film business, says Albert Lee, prexy of EmperorMotion Pictures. The popularity of Hollywood films continues to pressure the local biz.

“Sometimes it’s not really a question of if your film is good or bad. The market is really small,” says Lee.

In addition, while Hong Kong is used to relying on Singapore and Taiwan as export markets for their titles, those territories are craving indigenous pics, especially comedies. “We want to retain the Hong Kong identity but need to find a way to do this that is accepted around the region,” says Lee.

Derek Tsang, who co-helmed “Lovers Discourse” with Jimmy Wan, believes that it is time for the Hong Kong biz to be considered part of the broader Chinese industry.

“We have to accept that Hong Kong is only a city in China. We don’t ever hear filmmakers in Hollywood only making films in L.A. or New York.

“Woody Allen once said he’ll only make New York films, but now he is making films around the world,” he says. “We should broaden our perspective and make Chinese films instead.”

Tsang has entered “The MacLennan Affair” in the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). Pic deals with the controversy surrounding the death of a British police officer in Hong Kong in 1980.

“I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of potential investors or distributors who have shown interest in our project,” Tsang says. “Since we are looking for investment from aboard, given the colonial subject and the requirement of a large ensemble of Caucasian actors in our film, we hope Filmart and HAF can provide a good platform for us to reach out to foreign or mainly European investment.”

Hong Kong Filmart 2012
H.K. on fast Boat to china | Garcia: New filmmakers need support | Leading lights of HK biz

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Joaquin Phoenix And More Join #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    At the 44th annual Toronto Film Festival last week, in addition to attending red-carpet premieres and promoting films, some stars also joined in the fight to tackle the climate crisis. Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard are among the bold-faced names to join forces with the [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content