Hong Kong Filmart 2008

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The Hollywood Reporter is on the scene covering this year's Hong Kong Filmart. Download each day's special festival edition in PDF format here, or view each day's edition online with The Hollywood Reporter Digital Edition.

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Wednesday, March 19

'Stormrider' a keeper; market sales heat up
Expect strong sales from this year’s Hong Kong Filmart, exhibitors said based on two busy initial days. Hong Kong’s Universe Entertainment reported additional sales for the highest-profile movie selling at this year’s Filmart, “The Stormriders II,” with Scorpio East picking up Singapore rights, Monofilm purchasing rights for Thailand and PT Teguh Bakti Mandiri buying distribution rights in Indonesia. Full story
 
Market woes mean little to Asian studios

Despite Asian markets taking a hit earlier this week with more tremors possible out of Wall Street, confidence in local markets remained high among Hong Kong Filmart exhibitors Tuesday. Full story
  
Chan, Li continue 'Forbidden' affair
HONG KONG -- Jackie Chan and Jet Li are using their $75 million new production "The Forbidden Kingdom" as a continuation of an 1980s "affair," the Asian action superstars said at a news conference Tuesday. Full story

Japanese filmmakers urged to look past border

Moviemakers in Japan need to stop seeing their domestic market as their sole audience because a boom time in the industry is inevitably followed by lean years, Bey Logan, vp of the Weinstein Co., told a seminar on "Cool Japan Content" on Tuesday. Full story

Ren to go the 'Distance' for Rothstein
China-based producer Jay Rothstein said Tuesday that David Ren will direct his next project, "Distance Runners." Full story

Levy gets early jump on 3-D market

Japan will not have any 3-D capable cinemas for another couple of years, but when it does, Stuart Levy intends to be ready to supply them. Full story

Tuesday, March 18

'Storm' front for Pangs
"The Stormriders II" will update the groundbreaking visual effects featured in the first film by bringing the look of "300" to the sequel of the adapted comic book hit. The $12 million project will be produced by Universe Entertainment Ltd. Full story

'Sunshine' bright at AFA nods
Lee Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine" was the big winner at the second annual Asian Film Awards on Monday night, capturing best film, best director for Lee and actress for lead Jeon Do-yeon. Full story

Nakata may give Hollywood a second try
Japanese director Hideo Nakata is in talks with U.S. production shingle Vertigo to produce an as-yet-unnamed psychological thriller, even after his previous Hollywood experience has left him "frustrated," Nakata told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. Full story

Sabu plays up Hong Kong spirit
After starting out as a singer and actor, Hiroyuki Tanaka adopted the nickname Sabu before turning to directing. With a long history of working in Hong Kong, his latest project is a horror-romance tale set in a city with which he has fallen in love.  Full story

Unikorea hears 'Song' bird
Unikorea bought the South Korean rights to Majid Majidi's "The Song of Sparrows," Fortissimo Films said Monday. Neither side disclosed details of the deal, but Fortissimo said that Unikorea intended to provide theatrical distribution.  Full story

'Nana' tough to follow for helmer Otani
Following up the wildly popular "Nana" was always going to be a challenge, director Kentaro Otani said, but he insists he is not feeling any pressure with his new project. The key, he said, is to do something completely different. Full story

Dialogue: Tony Ching Siu-Tung
As action choreographer for more than 60 films, the filmmaker has been instrumental in shaping and innovating the way screen action is filmed. Full story

Dialogue: Park Tae-choon
Park Tae-choon made several well-regarded short films in the 1990s before joining filmmaker Kim Sung-soo as an assistant director on Kim's "Musa" in 2001 and other projects.  Full story

Yamada debuts 80th film
With his latest -- and 80th -- film, "Kabei" (Our Mother), director Yoji Yamada adds another strong work to a career that has spanned six decades and includes the longest-running series in global film history, the 'Tora-san' movies. Full story

International success eludes Japanese cinema
ANALYSIS: Other than anime, Japanese film has yet to score many major successes abroad, particularly outside Asia. There is some government support for the Japanese film industry, but it comes via a number of different organizations and agencies whose briefs and responsibilities appear to overlap considerably. Full story

Film reviews:
An Empress and the Warriors
Fine, Totally Fine
This Darling Life
Orz Boys
Handle Me With Care

Monday, March 17

Big launch for Big Media
Hong Kong-based production company Big Media is set to reinvigorate the Chinese-language market by launching a $32 million slate of 12-15 projects in Mandarin and Cantonese this year. Full story

Celestial draws line to Blu-ray
Celestial Pictures will release its first Blu-ray Disc title in April, the classic Leslie Cheung romantic comedy "Behind the Yellow Line," to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death. Full story

HAF keeps eye on young talent
The Hong Kong -- Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has grown into one of the most dynamic and valued sections of the Hong Kong Filmart, with many of Asia's biggest filmmakers and most promising up-and-comers entering their highly anticipated new titles. Full story

Sundream, Weinstein 'Visit' output deal
Sundream Motion Pictures is embarking on an output deal with the Weinstein Co. to release their film and video titles in Hong Kong, starting with "The Band's Visit" on April 10.  Full story

Fest turns to past to build its future
It may be a mature 32 years old, but the Hong Kong International Film Festival is a brighter lure today for young and upcoming screen talents in the global ferment than many a newer worldwide film forum. Full story

Conferences will focus on Asia issues
Along with an opportunity to wheel and deal, the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market gives participants the numerous opportunities to consider issues affecting the movie industry in Asia and beyond. Full story

Dialogue: Stephen Chow
During the 1990s, Stephen Chow was the top Hong Kong comedian who pioneered the nonsense comedic style with snide wordplay and an undying support for the underdog. Full story

Hong Kong's visual effects industry on a roll
ANALYSIS: It is almost impossible to overlook the emergence of visual-effects-heavy films in recent Hong Kong cinema. In fact, Hong Kong effects work has become so advanced that it is increasingly difficult to spot the effects. Full story



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