Funds available to film industry

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 3:36am

I refer to Martin Seng's letter ("Ailing film industry needs financial help from government", October 28), which requires clarification.

The government is committed to building a favourable environment for the film industry to develop and flourish. In 1998 the Film Services Office was established. The office promotes and supports Hong Kong film productions, provides services ranging from assisting location filming in Hong Kong to licensing of special effects used in filming and promoting Hong Kong films locally and abroad. In tandem with this, the Film Development Fund was set up in 1999 to provide financial support to a wide variety of projects to enhance the competitiveness of the film industry. In July 2007, the government injected a further HK$300 million into the fund to expand its scope to provide financial support for the production of small- to medium-budget films (films with a production budget of up to HK$15 million), and to continue to fund projects and activities which are beneficial to the long-term and healthy development of the industry.

Since July 2007, the fund has approved 26 film projects with total approved funding of HK$74 million; 16 approved applications were submitted by small-scale film production companies. The fund has also approved 85 film-related projects including film awards, training programmes and production of teaching kits with total funding of HK$135 million.

The government also works closely with the film industry in strategy development. The Film Development Council, set up in 2007, comprises members mainly from the film industry and advises the government on the formulation of a coherent strategy for the promotion and development of the film industry, the institutional arrangements that are required to achieve this objective, and how public resources should best be used to support the industry. With the support of the Film Services Office, the council has organised a series of promotional activities for the benefit of the industry, such as business forums, exhibitions and workshops concurrently with the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (Filmart) from 2009 to 2012.

We hope this gives a clearer picture of the efforts and resources the government has put in to help promote the Hong Kong film industry including screenwriters.

Lastly, there is no legislation in Hong Kong limiting the importation of films from foreign countries, nor is any quota set for this purpose.

Wellington Fung, secretary general, Hong Kong Film Development Council