Stars, Hong Kong media moguls, and local politicians turned out Wednesday to call for better access to the booming film industries of mainland China. Although Hong Kong already enjoys privileged access to Chinese markets, there remains a quota on the participation of Hong Kong talent in mainland film and TV projects.
A new lobby group, the Association for the Betterment of Hong Kong’s Entertainment Industry in Mainland China also pledged to help the city’s filmmakers obtain work and resolve legal and business disputes north of the border.
“China’s film and television industries are entering a golden era. I hope China can relax the quota imposed on our talent,” said actor Jackie Chan, who is president of the association and a mainland political advisor.
Chinese-language Hong Kong films currently escape China’s import quota restrictions, and films co-produced by Hong Kong and the mainland are treated as Chinese local productions under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, but these require that at least one-third of the leading cast must come from the mainland.
For TV productions, at least one-third of the lead cast and main crew members including screenwriters, producers and directors have to come from the mainland.
The call to ease restrictions on Hong Kong industry came after China recently removed the quota on the imports of Taiwan’s entertainment products. Opening its doors was part of a bid by China to encourage closer cultural and political relations.
The association’s executive president, actor-producer Eric Tsang said Hong Kong industry practitioners had trouble dealing with mainland business culture and its poorly drawn-up regulations. Film editor, Cheung Ka-fai was assaulted by a Beijing company’s executives after he sought payment for a 2016 job. Veteran actress, Liza Wang said: “A lot of the rules and regulations are merely hearsay,” she said.