The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society is to streamline the industry support measures that it operates under the leadership of Jacob Wong, in time for what it hopes will be in-person events in March 2022.

Wong will oversee HKIFF Industry, a new umbrella that coordinate HKIFFS’ industry initiatives, including: Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), In-Development (IDP) and Work-in-Progress (WIP) programs, HAF Goes to Cannes, HAF Film Lab, HKIFF Collection, and the facilitation of third-party co-productions.

“In addition to HAF’s main program for in-development projects, we have extended our support to early-stage projects in recent years through Film Lab and WIP for in-progress projects seeking post-production and completion funding.  Selected WIP projects could gain international exposure through HAF Goes to Cannes.  With HKIFF Collection and third-party co-productions, we aim to offer distribution and festival placement strategy to emerging filmmakers, as well as bringing more high-quality contents to the audience,” said Wong in a prepared statement.

Wong was previously a selector at the festival and is currently director of the flagship HAF project market, which has been forced into online-only editions for the past two years.

HAF organizers are planning for a real-world event that runs March 14-16, 2022, alongside the FilMart rights market. But “due to budget constraints and the need for better resource management, HAF20 will only cover feature-length fictional in-development and work-in-progress projects,” Wong said.

Over the most recent weekend three feature film projects were announced as winners of the HAF Film Lab, a Chinese-language spin-off event from HAF.

They are: “I Might Write About Us,” written and to be directed by Hong Kong’s Jun Li, and produced by Peter Yam; children-focused “The Stars The Sun The Moon,” to be directed by Hong Kong’s Colleen Kwok Tung-shuen, written by Kwok and Shay Zhao, and produced by Yim Ho and Kevin Philbert Tse; and, from Malaysia, “Maybe Today, If Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow.” The project is written by Lim Han Loong and Angel Lee, to be directed by Lim and produced by Tan Chui Mui.

The five-day online HAF Film Lab featured open lectures and one-on-one consultation sessions covering project creation, script development, production and budgeting, editing, cinematography, art direction, and soft-money financing. Emerging filmmakers representing ten in-development projects also participated in private one-on-one consultation sessions. Winners were selected by Ivy Ho, Lu Feii, and Yang Chao.