Hong Kong’s Filmart, Asia’s largest film and television content market, is going virtual.
The international film industry confab previously was postponed from its usual dates in March, as organizers sought to wait out the coronavirus pandemic in hopes of holding a full-scale physical event in August.
That plan was officially scrapped Thursday, however, when the Hong Kong Trade Development Council issued a statement saying the event would “migrate to a virtual platform.” The Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), an influential financing platform in the region, also announced Thursday that it will be switching to an all-online edition in August.
“We all recognize the importance of maintaining entertainment market business momentum, amid delayed productions, closed theaters and altered audience behavior,” the HKTDC said in a statement. “So, as the largest content trading platform in Asia, Filmart Online will continue.”
The virtual edition of Filmart will take place Aug. 26-Aug. 29, while HAF will be held online Aug. 26-28.
Organizers say the virtual events — similar to Cannes’ upcoming Virtual Marche — will provide online platforms for film companies to showcase, buy and sell new titles; securely stream new films and trailers; and join original “seminars, content showcases, business dialogues and events” arranged by the market.
HAF, meanwhile, plans to partner with Filmart to facilitate virtual meetings for its selected filmmakers. The platform previously shortlisted 32 projects for this year’s edition, including projects from 11 first-time directors. It will announce an additional 22 work-in-progress projects shortly.
Filmart organizers added: “We all recognize the importance of maintaining entertainment market business momentum amid delayed productions, closed theaters and altered audience behavior. So, as the largest content trading platform in Asia, Filmart Online will continue helping you to reinvigorate business.”
More details will be revealed in the weeks ahead, the HKTDC said.