HKIFF shortens 2010 event

Next edition will run March 21-April 6

UPDATED: 12:10 pm, Apr. 22, 2009

HONG KONG--Hong Kong International Film Festival organizers believe less might be more.

The HKIFF Society, which oversees the event, said Monday that the festival's 2010 edition will be shortened to 16 days from this year's 23, running March 21-April 6.

Executive  director Soo-wei Shaw said the streamlined event would strive to be an even more effective platform to launch and promote global films to Asia.

"There will be more activities for filmgoers which provides an ideal opportunity for networking and business opportunity for all our guests," Shaw said.

Asked if the festival would cut the number films it screens, Shaw said the festival would assess its program and maintain a focus on quality not quantity.

The shortened festival will allow the organizer to manage its existing budget more effectively, Shaw said.

The 33rd annual HKIFF, which concluded April 13, screened 338 films from 50 countries, including 19 world premieres, 17 international premieres and 33 Asian premieres. Half a million festivalgoers attended, resulting in 136 sold-out screenings. The festival also focused on bringing foreign filmmakers to the region and hosted122 meet-the-audience sessions, an 84% increase from 2008.

Held concurrently with the festival, the Asian Film Awards will take place March 22, 2010, while the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, a co-production platform for international filmmakers, will take place March 22-25.

"We are experiencing a global shift to the Asian region for increased opportunities in film financing. The global profile of these events and the Hong Kong Filmart will increase with the importance of Asia being a market for co-production and film financing," Shaw said.

The HKIFF Society is now in discussions with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Film Development Council on co-organizing events at next month's Festival de Cannes.

-- Jonathan Landreth contributed to this report from Beijing
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