Hong Kong International Film Festival

HK's one-stop entertainment shop

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2012, 12:00am

A flood of well-coiffed celebrities, movie-makers and money men and women will be among the thousands of visitors to Hong Kong over the next month for Entertainment Expo, which opened yesterday.

A global trade fair for the entertainment industry, the expo is a mix of nine separate events, including public movie screenings, a pan-Asian pop concert, talks and seminars by industry insiders like Kung Fu Panda screenwriter Glenn Berger, and the Asian Film Awards.

'It's a one-stop shop,' said Nelson Mok, director of Singapore film distribution firm MVP Entertainment. Mok was at the fair hoping to win the distribution rights to director Edmond Pang Ho-cheung's latest dark comedy, Vulgaria.

Vulgaria premieres at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, a sister event of the expo showcasing more than 230 international films in venues across the city.

As the doors opened yesterday morning at Filmart, a forum for the local film and TV market, representatives from major Asian production houses - such as CJ Entertainment, Golden Harvest and Emperor Media - were on hand to court the thousands of buyers due to come through the doors.

The expo is also a chance for filmmakers to reach smaller markets in Asia.

'We get to meet with buyers that we might not meet otherwise,' said Miriam Elchanan, senior vice-president for sales and acquisition at Fabrication Films, a Los Angeles-based distributor of independent films.

Within a few hours of doors opening at the fair, Elchanan had caught up with buyers from Mongolia, the Philippines, South Korea and Indonesia. The buyers probably would not have been able to attend other stops on the film industry circuit, such as France or the United States, she said.

The expo is organised by the Trade Development Council, and the government has put over HK$40 million in the event, according to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.

'Its main objective is to get people from different industries, film, music, television, animation, and production so they can develop their business opportunities,' TDC spokeswoman Katherine Chan said.

The expo will also include the Asian Film Awards, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, the Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival, the IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award, ifva (Incubator for Film & Visual Media in Asia) and the Digital Visual Effects Summit.

The event continues until April 15.