Hong Kong Filmart 2007

Headlines from the 11th annual film market

Hong Kong Filmart wraps with raves, rips

HONG KONG -- The 11th annual Hong Kong Filmart received mixed reviews from attendees as a week of handshake dealmaking and negotiations came to an end Friday. Several companies said that they had concluded deals at Filmart but were holding off on making announcements until May's Festival de Cannes, where they expected they could make more of a splash. More

March 23

CDC Games inks 'Yulgang' deal

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong-based CDC Games announced Friday a strategic investment in MGame, the South Korean developer whose hit game "Yulgang" has operated in China since 2004. In a signing ceremony on the last day of the Hong Kong Filmart, the two companies also extended the operation agreement for the "free to play, pay for merchandise" game until 2010, and agreed that CDC, an online gaming unit of CDC Corp., would take exclusive rights to distribute MGame's next massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). More

March 22

Filmart day three sees flurry of deals

HONG KONG -- A flurry of deal making marked the third day of the Hong Kong Filmart on Thursday, sales agents from around the region said. Japanese movie studio Toei Co. sold German rights on two movies to Rapid Eye. Although specific figures were not given, rights to Sion Sono's horror film "Exte -- Hair Extensions" cost in the five-figures, and "Yoyo Girl Cop" were in the six-figures, according to Tadayuki Okubo, manager of international sales & purchasing at Toei. More

Content is king for Asian animation

HONG KONG -- Global animation industry insiders debated Thursday whether platform or content is king in the race to meet the fast-growing demand of tech-savvy Asian consumers. Despite the dazzling array of platforms, from traditional television to broadband mobile, it would appear that content remains king in Asia in the eyes of most of the guests gathered at a Hong Kong Filmart panel on Asian animation co-production models. More

Five films score HAF cash awards

HONG KONG -- Five films won awards valued at $97,000 Thursday at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), where one local winner found additional funding on his own. Chosen from 25 projects, the five winning films were led by director Clara Law's "The Messenger," which won both the $13,000 HAF Award for a Hong Kong project and the Technicolor Thailand Post-production Service Award. More

March 21

Bigger HK Filmart opens Entertainment Expo

HONG KONG -- The 11th annual Hong Kong Filmart set out to prove that bigger is better and appeared Tuesday to have done just that for the more than 450 exhibitors and roughly 12,000 guests attending the kickoff event of the 23-day Hong Kong Entertainment Expo. The ranks of attendees was up from companies around the region, with Vietnam's contingent at 86, up from 45 last year, and 27 representing Malaysian companies, up from 20 in 2006, with five signing deals. More

Malaysia animates Filmart co-prod deals

HONG KONG -- Malaysia made a splash at the Hong Kong Filmart on Wednesday, with several companies signing separate animated entertainment content co-production deals. Elemental Ventures of Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles-based Thoren Entertainment agreed to produce "Ketchup and Mustard," a pre-school animation series to be made in Malaysia with a U.S. production team for the global DVD and broadcast markets. "It's our 'Dora the Explorer'," Terry Thoren, principal of the U.S. half of the deal, said. Thoren's previous projects include the animated hit "The Rugrats Movie." More

ARP takes French rights to 'Eye in the Sky'

HONG KONG -- French film distributor ARP Selection bought all French-speaking rights to "Eye in the Sky," the Hong Kong International Film Festival opener by debut director Yau Nai Hoi, from Fortissimo Films. The deal for the Sundream Motion Pictures title, concluded late Tuesday at the Festival's parallel Hong Kong Filmart, was signed by Fortissimo's co-chairman Wouter Barendrecht and ARP's Michele Halberstadt. Financial details were not disclosed. More

Korea lights Firecracker U.K. VOD deal

HONG KONG -- South Korean Activers Entertainment Co. will begin providing classic Korean movies and other Korean content via Video On Demand to the U.K.'s Firecracker Media, beginning in late April or May, the Seoul-based media company told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday at the Hong Kong Filmart. The deal will be restricted to six major English-speaking territories around the world -- the U.K., Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Peter Seo, president of Activers, said. Seo added that the VOD content would feature streaming video at near-DVD quality resolution. More

HK's Big Media unveils ambitious plans

HONG KONG -- Recalling the glory days of Hong Kong cinema, start-up local production house Big Media announced on Wednesday its ambitions to make 100 films over the next five years. "Not only do we aim to facilitate film development and create more job opportunities, we also set our goal to reach another milestone by moving the film industry forward internationally, with mainland China as our backup," Li Kuo Hsing, chairman of Big Media Group Ltd., said at the Hong Kong Filmart. The 100 films will be a mix of four to five big-budget tentpoles a year, 10 niche-market art-house films and six to seven mid-level regional films. More

East meets West to build global stars

HONG KONG -- Talent management companies from Asia and the West need to work together to build global stars, said panelists gathered at Filmart here on Wednesday. "There are no borders anymore, especially in entertainment," Jack Heller, manager at L.A.-based The Schiff Company, said. "To be a star now means being a star globally." "Why are we talking about this? Because everyone is interested in everyone's markets," Teddy Jung, CEO and president of South Korean talent management company and production house iHQ, said. "We have good productions in Korea, but we lack networking." More

Emperor Group unveils film slate aimed at China

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong-based Emperor Group Pictures on Tuesday unveiled a slate of films with budgets from $1 million to $10 million that are geared toward penetrating the emerging Chinese market. Best known for their in-house productions, EMP's new slate combines a mixture of distribution, investment and equity deals headed by the $10 million drama "The Sun Also Rises," directed by Jiang Wen and starring Joan Chen ("Saving Face"), Jaycee Chan ("2 Young") and Anthony Wong ("Exiled"). More

Osaka to host digital content market

HONG KONG -- Osaka, Japan will host a new digital content market this fall, organizers of the Asia Contents Market said Wednesday at the Hong Kong Filmart. Running Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, the Asia Contents Market (ACM) will kick off the next Japan International Contents Festival, a series of media events that will conclude with the Tokyo International Film Festival market (TIFFCOM). More

March 20

CCTV goes for Hong Kong 'Drive'

HONG KONG -- "The Drive of Life," the first television drama co-produced by Hong Kong's TVB and mainland flagship broadcaster China Central Television, was unveiled Tuesday on the sidelines of the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo. Executives pointed to the 60-episode series, which centers on the development of the Chinese automotive industry, as the beginning of a new wave of Hong Kong/mainland China television cooperation. More

'Host' most honored guest at Asian awards

HONG KONG -- South Korean monster movie "The Host" swept the inaugural Asian Film Awards here Tuesday, taking prizes for best film, actor, cinematographer and visual effects. The awards opened the third annual Hong Kong Entertainment Expo, bringing international attention to 10 films made east of Egypt and giving prestige to the biggest film festival between Berlin and Cannes. Organized by the concurrent Hong Kong International Film Festival, the winners were chosen from a field of 65 nominees drawn from 700 entries made in countries from Iran to Indonesia and Japan to Singapore.More

March 19

Cineclick, Fantom announce merger

HONG KONG -- South Korean international sales and movie production house Cineclick Asia announced on Tuesday it has merged with Fantom Entertainment Group as part of Cineclick's plans to step up co-productions and movie investment. The merger, which took effect March 12, combines Fantom's 11 entertainment-related affiliates -- including talent management, movie and television production, music publishing and distribution -- with the growing Cineclick Asia. The merged company will continue with the name Cineclick Asia for its visual entertainment business, where Cineclick will lead corporate strategy and general operations. More