H.K. Expo delivers broad palette

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Hong Kong's status as Asia's entertainment hub — along with the ongoing development of creative industries in the region — will benefit greatly from the fourth annual Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, secretary for commerce and economic development Frederick Ma said at a press conference here Monday.

"Staging such large-scale industry events attracts practitioners from overseas and the mainland and helps develop Hong Kong into a regional business hub for the creative industries," Ma said.

Nine events showcasing film, television, music and digital entertainment will be featured at the Expo, organizers said. The Entertainment Expo encompasses nine events March 17-April 13. Four of those focus exclusively on film: the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Hong Kong Film Awards, the Asian Film Awards and the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum.

Hong Kong Filmart, the highlight event of the Expo, will feature animation and digital entertainment, equipment and postproduction services, locations and TV, as well as film.

Ma, who was joined at the press conference by Hong Kong entertainment ambassador Tony Leung Chiu-Wai ("Lust, Caution"), said that Hong Kong's film export amounted to HK$1.4 billion ($179 million) last year.

This year, more than 480 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions will participate at Filmart, which is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The market also will expand its TV World section, introducing screenings of local productions for international buyers, according to Benjamin Chau, assistant executive director of the TDC.

Apart from film and TV, the Expo also will feature music industry events, namely the Hong Kong Music Fair and the IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award. This year's HKMF will introduce a talent showcase for local singers and composers.

Rounding out the nine events are the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards and the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum.
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