MOViE MOViE Channel Brings Art House and Indie Films to Hong Kong

Edko Films and subsidiary, local art house cinema Broadway Cinematheque, are launching the new IPTV channel.

HONG KONG -- Building upon the strong foundation of Hong Kong art house film haven Broadway Cinematheque and its mother company Edko Films’ acquisitions of cinematic gems from around the world for decades, the company launched new cable channel MOViE MOViE by Broadway Cinematheque to bring art house and independent films to home viewers in Hong Kong.

Although the channel specializes in international art house and independent favorites, its key message is accessibility, not least signified in its name, said Broadway Cinematheque Managing Director Gary Mak. “The name Movie Movie was chosen to denote inclusiveness, not exclusivity; we hope to create an image that is welcoming to viewers,” Mak told The Hollywood Reporter. 

“Through the channel, we are providing a platform to a wider audience who is interested in a diverse range of films, but might be unable, or choose not, to come to the Cinematheque because of their busy work schedule or location,” Mak added. “We are hoping to attract the more upscale film buffs, whose demand is more inelastic, but they represent a share of the market that we haven’t attempted to tap into before."

The new channel will showcase the work of iconoclastic auteurs such as Pedro Almodovar, Lars von Trier, and Park Chan-woo, whose films had been distributed by Edko, most predominantly shown in Broadway CInematheque.  There will be also classics from masters including Francois Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, and Derek Jarman to be featured on the channel.  But the more commercial-minded foreign-language films, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy from Sweden and the Spanish REC horror series are likewise included, to create an all-rounded non-Hollywood cinematic experience. Although the main focus of the channel is the diverse acquisitions of Edko Films over the years, the operator also is setting up deals with other local art film distributors to show their acquisitions on the channel, such as First Films’ Michael Haneke catalog.

Some in the upcoming channel line-up is exclusive to television, such as the new Woody Allen: A Documentary, recently unveiled in Cannes, or the epic 15-hour documentary The Story of Film by Irish film scholar and critic Mark Cousins. “With the channel, we can bring more varied fare to cinephiles, without the constraints of a theatrical release - a limited run or higher opportunity cost.”

“It’s the inevitable next step for us as film distributors. The progress of home entertainment technology and the diminishing market of DVD means that, if we don’t provide this platform for the audience to watch films at home, they’d watch them through other means anyway,” Mak noted. “We can’t force the audience to go the cinema, but with a channel, we can provide more choice to the audience.”

The channel is operated solely by Edko Films, which also launched the Now Popcorn Movie Channel earlier this year in a joint venture with China’s Huayi Brothers, director-producer Peter Chan’s Shine Focus, and IPTV operator Now TV.

The channel commenced its SVOD service on Now TV on June 14, after a two-week free viewing period for its linear service.