Filmart 2018 Sees Record Visitor and Exhibitor Numbers

Filmart Closing Day 2018 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Filmart

The premier market in Asia benefitted from the decision to move the dates of the Hong Kong International Film Festival to coincide with the event.

Hong Kong Filmart, Asia's biggest film market, was bigger, better and busier this year according to official figures released by the organizers.

The uptick came as the market benefited from moving the Hong Kong International Film Festival on the calendar to take place at the same time for the first time since 2015. The 22nd edition of the market saw 850 exhibitors from 37 countries and territories participating and a record 8,700 visitors attending, up 9 percent from last year. The 14 seminars held during the event attracted 3,000 people. 

On the market floor, the consensus opinion seemed to be that the 2018 edition of Filmart was larger than in previous years. The surge in visitor numbers brought more inquiries about projects for the sellers, and a higher number of spontaneous meetings took place, said One Cool Pictures distribution director Christy Choi.

"We have a very fruitful market this time. After launching the promo of Warriors of Future, we have received extremely good responses from buyers," Choi told The Hollywood Reporter.

For other projects on their slate Choi said, "buyers are happy to give us offers and we believe we will close some more deals at the market. Also, we have more and more unscheduled walk-in meetings."

The booths of the Chinese provinces and cities were also noticeably larger this year. The Guangdong pavilion and the Hangzhou booth were among the most sizable and prominent ones at the market. Involvement of the Chinese companies and regional representatives has been one of the main growth drivers of Filmart over the last 10 years and the primary factor in its rise to becoming the premier film market in Asia. 

"Filmart is still a great market for Asian territories," said Fred Tsui, general manager and head of sales, international co-productions at Media Asia. "We have a great number of pre-buy offers from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and India for both Renny Harlin’s Bodies at Rest and Andrew Lau’s When Robbers Meet the Monsters."

The market continues to be one of the conduits for Hong Kong studios to reach out to buyers in Asia who do not attend the Cannes market, and distributors in Hong Kong use it to launch big projects, such as Drug Lords and Shock Wave 2 from Universe Films.

"Filmart is always good to us, as it’s the key market for us, a Hong Kong film company," said Mia Sin of Universe Films' sales and distribution department. "Many new projects are announced in Filmart and that makes us busy."