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ASEAN features shine at FILMART


The rise of film producers in the region and rapid advances in virtual production came under the spotlight at this leading entertainment event.


Strong growth in Southeast Asian film-making and virtual production (VP) technologies were key topics for participants at the recent Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) and EntertainmentPulse, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). 

Asia’s leading cross-media, cross-industry trading platform attracted over 7,500 participants from 50 countries and regions and over 760 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions. Notably, there was a significant increase in ASEAN exhibitors and buyers, 50% and 6%, respectively.

FILMART showcased a wide range of the latest film, TV and animation works as well as cutting-edge film production technologies, including the debut of a virtual production studio in a collaboration with Hong Kong creative tech firm Votion Studios.

In recent years, the film and entertainment industry in ASEAN countries, particularly Thailand, has experienced robust growth. In addition to the Thai Pavilion set up by the Thai Ministry of Culture, FILMART also held a Thai Day on opening day to leverage Hong Kong’s platform for industry development and encourage collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand. 

Last year, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive John Lee led a delegation to visit three ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, encouraging ASEAN businesses to leverage Hong Kong’s platform to further grow their entertainment industry.

Following the visit, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia staged a country pavilion for the first time at FILMART to showcase their film and TV productions. Rina Dayamanti, Festival Director of Jakarta Film Week and one of the pavilion representatives, said Indonesian exhibitors were keen to meet many buyers from Mainland China at the fairground and to explore the possibility of producing Indonesian versions of mainland IP projects. 

The HKTDC also signed MoUs with several organisations, including the Department of International Trade Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Commerce and the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural cooperation. Additionally, an MoU was signed with the Shanghai Broadcasting Film & Television Producers Association to diversify bilateral cooperation in entertainment beyond co-productions.

Film companies leveraged the FILMART platform to announce productions. Notably, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group unveiled the Hong Kong Cultural and Art Industry Revitalisation Program, committing to invest no less than HK$5 billion (US$640 million) over the next five years to reinforce collaboration with Hong Kong’s cultural and entertainment industry.

To support Hong Kong’s growth as an innovation-driven economy and regional IP trading centre, FILMART this year strengthened its online platform, promoting exhibitors’ creative IPs, providing business referrals and facilitating business matching. As of early March, more than 1,000 film and entertainment works have been uploaded to the platform.

First-time Indonesia Pavilion exhibitors Talamedia announced that Cercamon, a Dubai-based global film sales firm, had acquired worldwide rights of Crocodile Tears, a film co-produced by Talamedia and production companies from France, Germany and Singapore.  

Another first-time Indonesia Pavilion exhibitor KawanKawan Media, which has produced award-winning films, also announced they concluded principal photography of their latest feature, Tale of the Land, which is now in post-production. 

The Hong Kong Film Development Council launched the Hong Kong-Europe-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme, thanks to the Hong Kong SAR Government’s investment in the Film Development Fund, to encourage more international productions to come to Hong Kong to collaborate with Hong Kong filmmakers.

A guest speaker at EntertainmentPulse, Catherine Souyri-Desrosier, International Department Director of Centre National du Cinema et de l’image Animee, commented: “Co-production is at the heart of France’s cultural policy to promote cultural diversity, cultural exchanges and cross-fertilisation. As France has developed a proactive policy to support co-productions with more than 60 bilateral treaties, including with four countries in Asia: Mainland China, Cambodia, Korea and India. We look forward to collaborating with outstanding Asian crews and developing high-quality productions.” 

The Digital Entertainment Summit at EntertainmentPulse explored trending topics in the world of digital entertainment, including animation and cross-border collaboration. Shimizu Shinji, Chief Advisor of Toei Animation, the animation production company behind box office hits Ikky.-san and One Piece, shared his insights on the application of digital entertainment in animation creation.

The FILMART online platform will remain open until 13 April. Registered users can re-watch EntertainmentPulse seminars and connect with global buyers and exhibitors to explore more business opportunities.

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