A lack of government funding is reportedly forcing organisers of an entertainment expo to compete against each other for potential sponsors. The head of the Hong Kong International Film Festival - one of the major events under the Entertainment Expo - said the government had failed to allocate additional money after consolidating various arts events from previous years under a grand-sounding name. He said some sponsors the festival hoped to attract had ended up funding other events being held by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which runs the expo. 'The government merely puts various events together around the same timeframe, but it won't become the Cannes of Asia,' said festival director Peter Tsi Ka-kei. 'It's like asking a cha cheng teng [neighbourhood restaurant] to compete with five-star hotels, but without any extra subsidies.' Although the council is organising the expo and individual events such as Filmart and the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, it has not been promised any additional funding, Mr Tsi said. He said the government needed to invest a substantial amount for the expo to rank with similar events around Asia, such as the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea. The Entertainment Expo, officially announced by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa last week in his policy address, is the government's first step to promoting creative industries in Hong Kong. The event will run from March 22 to April 6 and includes eight individual trade-related or public programmes: the International Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Awards, Filmart, Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, Digital Entertainment Excellence Awards, Top Sales Music Awards, the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum, and the Independent Short Film and Video Awards. Mr Tsi said the film festival was facing extra difficulties because the government had cut its subsidy by $400,000 this year, and a deal with Cathay Pacific, a previous sponsor, had not worked out. It now has only $7.4 million from the Arts Development Council. 'We need another $1 million or we have to downscale the event,' he said. 'The film festival itself can't compete with its counterparts in the rest of Asia.' He said that the Tokyo International Film Festival receives US$10 million in funding, Bangkok gets US$7 million, and Shanghai gets US$5 million. Pusan, which is seen as Hong Kong's biggest competitor, receives US$4 million.