“Due to the escalating violence and on-going anti-government protesting we felt it was in the best interest of all concerned to cancel the convention,” said Robert Sunshine, chairman of the Film Expo Group in a statement Thursday to Variety.
“We could not provide safety for our guests and received many comments that companies were concerned about sending their employees to Hong Kong at this time,” he added.
CineAsia had been scheduled to run from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12 for its 25th edition at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Major Hollywood and European companies were due to attend the event, which includes Hollywood movie screenings and a trade show for major, regional and independent movie studios.
Veronica Ngo of Vietnam had been announced as the recipient of this year’s Female Star of the Year award at the CineAsia awards ceremony Dec. 12.
The Hong Kong protests began in July with students demanding more autonomy from Beijing. The protest movement has escalated in recent days with clashes with riot police and numerous campuses becoming heavily fortified protest camps. Chinese state media have been warning protesters, “You are on the edge of doom.”
The Film Expo Group, based in New York City, also produces CineEurope, held in Barcelona, and ShowEast, held in Miami.