Forum seeks investors in link with Dubai international festival

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2008, 12:00am

The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) wants to work with a major film festival in Dubai in the hope of helping Asian filmmakers find investors in the Middle East.

The forum, which is one of the events under the umbrella of the annual Entertainment Expo that kicks off today, is in discussions with the Dubai International Film Festival on potential collaboration.

'We have been invited to speak at seminars at Dubai Film Connection, a film-financing forum organised by the Dubai International Film Festival catering mainly for Arabian filmmakers, and we are exploring possibilities to collaborate with them,' said HAF deputy directory Ivy Ho.

HAF is a three-day government-funded event that showcases about 25 Asian film-project ideas for potential investors. About 800 investors are expected to participate.

Ms Ho said the discussion with Dubai was still at an early stage and the collaboration could be similar to what the Rome Film Festival currently offered to HAF - a cash award of US$15,000 and an invitation to attend the Italian film extravaganza's financing forum New Cinema Network.

Filmmakers of three of the HAF projects that are still seeking investors by October, when the Rome Film Festival takes place, would be invited to the event to meet potential European investors and buyers.

'In 2006, one of the HAF projects, Plastic City by Hong Kong filmmaker Yu Lik-wai, was invited to Rome and he successfully pre-sold the film to some European buyers,' Ms Ho said.

Filmmakers of 25 Asian projects have been selected to join this year's HAF, including three from Hong Kong, four from the mainland, two Hong Kong-China co-productions and one Hong Kong-UK co-production. Other participating countries include Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines and newcomer Iran.

Japanese filmmaker Hideo Nakata, best known for the horror Ringu series, Japanese director-actor Sabu and South Korean director Park Chan-wook, winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Grand Prix with Oldboy, will participate in this year's HAF.

Projects by Berlin Silver Bear winner Li Yang, Crazy Stone's director Ning Hao and Hong Kong filmmakers Pang Ho-cheung and Carol Lai Miu-suet have also been selected.

HAF, which was inaugurated in 2000, receives HK$3.3 million in funding from the government.

The forum takes place from today to Wednesday at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.