Hong Kong Filmart: TV Sector Sees Growth

Get to Know: Raymond Yip
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Hong Kong Trade Development Council assistant executive director Yip, a familiar face at Filmart, who has nurtured the market since its inception in 1997 and is always a reassuring presence for returning veterans.

Boosted by Chinese TV Station participation, TV World section grows 20 percent.

HONG KONG – Hong Kong Filmart continues to grow in its 17th year, with more than 700 exhibitors and 6,000 buyers from over 30 countries and regions expected to attend the market, an 8 percent increase from 2012. The market will take place from March 18-21.

Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Filmart sees the most significant growth in its TV World section, with a record number of over 240 international exhibitors, a 20 percent rise from last year. TV World owes its expansion to the increased participation of Chinese television stations, according to Raymond Yip, assistant executive director of the HKTDC.

“We see enormous potential in this area, as there are around 700 regional stations in China,” said Yip. “Chinese television stations have a great deal of resources from advertising, and a lot of deals were made at Filmart between stations from China and around the world.”

Al Jazeera Network from Qatar will make a debut at the market, along with exhibitor pavilions of the British Columbia Film + Media and the Italian Trade Commission.

“The role of Hong Kong is increasingly important, not only as a platform for sales, but also for financing,” said Yip, citing the case of Cloud Atlas, where Hong Kong producer Philip Lee lined up the Chinese and Hong Kong partners. “I can foresee more Chinese producers reaching the international stage through Hong Kong. The business model will be expanded from co-productions with China to films financed by an international partnership for the international market, using Hong Kong as a platform for financing and distribution.”

The market will also introduce a section dedicated to microcinema, an exhibition outlining the business opportunities in microcinema, and the service provider and production companies available.

The highlight of the conferences at Filmart will be a section on book-to-screen productions, with speakers including Chetan Bhagat, the author of the novel Five Point Someone that was adapted into the Indian blockbuster 3 Idiots. The forum at TV World will focus on TV Programming and the New Media.

Filmart will run concurrently with eight other events under the banner Entertainment Expo, including the Hong Kong International Film Festival from March 17 to April 2, the Asian Film Awards on March 18, the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum from March 18-20, the Hong Kong Film Awards Presentation Ceremony on April 13, the Asian VFX and Digital Cinema Summit, the ifva Festival from March 8-17, and music-oriented Hong Kong Asian-pop Music Festival on March 22 and IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Award.

The Expo will launch a city-wide special offer event of 10 percent off ticket prices to encourage cinema-goers with the support of the Hong Kong Theaters Association. Over 400 merchants outlets, including restaurants, will also participate to offer discounts to ticket-holders.