Local directors take lion's share of film funds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2007, 12:00am

Local directors emerged as the biggest winners at the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum ceremony yesterday, scoring five of the nine funding awards.

Director Clara Law Cheuk-yiu won two awards - each worth HK$100,000 - for her project The Messenger, and Hong Kong actor Francis Ng Chun-yu got lucky with his Bema's Tear, a film proposal about a young girl's path to Buddhist enlightenment.

Director Mabel Cheung Yuen-ting won for her project based on the Chinese classic The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, while fellow director Edmond Pang Ho-cheung received a boost for Now Showing.

The finance forum brings Asian filmmakers and their coming projects to Hong Kong to facilitate opportunities for international co-productions.

Forum director Jacob Wong Hing-cheung said all 25 projects submitted were of high quality and very interesting.

'Overall, the quality of the projects was very good this year,' he said.

Law was overjoyed, saying she was surprised to score two awards and expressed her appreciation to the forum.

'The forum is certainly a good platform for both investors and filmmakers,' she said.

Although Law would not reveal the plot of The Messenger, which will be filmed in Australia, she said it had elements of a thriller, mystery and romance. She hoped to complete the project in one year.

Pang said: 'I'm very glad to have won the award. I didn't have the money to start Now Showing last week but now I have.'

The other funding awards went to filmmakers from the mainland, Korea, Vietnam and Japan.

In a statement, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong Wing-ping said the government would continue to support the media and entertainment industry.

This included providing support for IT development and digital entertainment; allowing both Hong Kong-origin films and mainland-Hong Kong co-produced films and television shows to enjoy quota-free access on the mainland; and maintaining a robust intellectual property protection system.