A number of Hong Kong's filmmakers plan to enter into more co-productions with mainland partners after Chinese Central Television (CCTV) said it would acquire all such films for its film channel. The state-owned broadcaster said it would buy any film created by domestic production houses, including Hong Kong or foreign co-productions with China. All would be aired on CCTV-6, the mainland's only film channel. 'The more films that are made, the more we will buy,' said CCTV-6 sales department head Wu Yakang. 'The film market in China is opening up and we have to make some changes and buy more productions.' The channel bought about 100 films last year. However, this is far from enough for a channel broadcasting seven to eight mainland films 17 hours a day. Mr Wu said the film channel was set up in 1996 to encourage the local industry and it had a responsibility to buy the films it produced. He declined to detail the budget, but industry veterans said a mainland film would sell for 700,000 yuan (HK$655,690) to one million yuan. 'We're a state channel. There is no point not buying mainland productions,' Mr Wu said. He said a range of programming would be bought to suit the tastes of its audience. Industry players welcomed the move and said it would boost the local film industry, which had been suffering from declining sales to the international market. Award-winning Hong Kong film director Stanley Tong Kwai-lai, now based in Shanghai working in television, said: 'It can help us tap into a much bigger market. The Hong Kong market is shrinking. Small and middle-sized filmmakers will benefit from CCTV's move and the [closer economic partnership arrangement].' Mr Tong said CCTV would help films reach the general audience, as the channel was widely available in people's homes and foreign compounds and hotels. It would also boost the sales of related products such as souvenirs. Hong Kong produces 80 to 90 films a year and about 30 per cent are co-productions.