Filmart: Jackie Chan Launches Industry Body to Promote Hong Kong Actors in China

Jackie Chan -19th Shanghai International Film Festival-Getty-H 2016
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Local stars such as Eric Tsang, Liza Wang Ming-chuen and Wong Cho-lam were on hand for the launch ceremony of a new organization that will lobby authorities in Beijing on behalf of young talent.

Jackie Chan is spearheading a campaign to push for more Hong Kong actors in Chinese television and film productions. 

The most famous name in the Hong Kong film industry is lending his considerable clout to the Association for Betterment of Hong Kong's Entertainment Industry in Mainland China, which had its official launch ceremony Wednesday at Hong Kong Filmart.

The body will lobby authorities in Beijing as well as collectively bargain key concessions for young Hong Kong talent to secure roles in films and on TV series produced on the mainland. 

As a result of a treaty signed in 2003 that sought to promote co-productions between Hong Kong and China, actors from the city were limited to a third of the roles in film projects produced on the mainland. For television, the quotas were even stricter, with only five slots held open for Hong Kong and Macau talent for all jobs on the production including acting, directing and screenwriting. 

The new association wants to relax the rules or cancel them altogether and has argued that they are stifling young talent in Hong Kong from breaking through as Chinese productions prefer to fill their quota with established stars. 

At the event, Chan also said that Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong actors need to be more willing to adapt particularly when it comes to language. “People go to work in Hengdian and they feel lonely, but it’s because they don’t understand Putonghua,” he told reporters. 

Chan, who also belongs to the select group of 200 Hong Kong delegates on China's top political advisory body, will chair the association, and the group includes co-founder Eric Tsang, singer-songwriter Nicholas Tse, actress Liza Wang Ming-chuen and actor Wong Cho-lam.