Cepa billed as bonus for film industry
Hong Kong's movie industry is expected to produce about 140 films this year - a 77 per cent increase on the 79 made last year, Legco was told yesterday.
Helen Tang, Principal Assistant Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Trade, told legislators that the film industry should benefit from the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.
'The Hong Kong film industry can take advantage of Cepa to explore the mainland market, which shares essentially the same culture with us and has great potential for development,' she said.
Among other benefits, the Hong Kong film industry was now exempt from the annual 20-film quota the mainland placed on film-making countries, she said.
But the vice-chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Film workers, film director Cheung Tung-joe, was less optimistic.
'Last year was a particularly dreadful year in terms of the number of films produced because of Sars. Will things pick up in 2004? I'm not so sure,' he said.
The executive-secretary of the Movie Producers and Distributors Association, Tony Shu Tat-ming, said Cepa and the government's support helped, but there was still a battle ahead and much work was needed from the industry itself.
The government set up a film development fund of $100 million in April 1999. By the end of January, $48.4 million had been allocated for 69 projects.