Salon Films Launches Filmmaker Training Program

Hong Kong-based producer is training filmmakers there and in China and Singapore.

HONG KONG – Salon Films will launch a cross-border training program for young Singapore and Hong Kong filmmakers, and a funding initiative in connection with the Hong Kong government subsidy for filmmakers, Salon chairman Fred Wang told The Hollywood Reporter

The training program is organized with the Media Development Authority of Singapore to bring budding Singaporean filmmakers to work in Hong Kong and China. The program began in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Academy of Film of the Hong Kong Baptist University, and continues in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, in cooperation with the China Film Foundation and CCTV, and will conclude in the Hengdian studio, lasting three weeks in each city.  

The film crew is shooting a documentary to commemorate the 20th anniversary the establishment of economic relations between China and Singapore.

“Asian culture shares common origins,” Wang said, “The training program is aimed at providing an opportunity for young filmmakers across Asia to meet, exchange ideas, and make films that speak to our mutual cultural roots.”

To capitalize on the current prevalence of Hong Kong-Chinese co-productions and the growing film industry in China, the program also intends for young filmmakers and film students to obtain hands-on practical experience in China. Film students at the Academy of Film of the Baptist University will also join the Salon team in Beijing and Hengdian. Salon and the academy are also working together to bring students and young filmmakers into the film industry in the Pearl River Delta -- the area in southern China including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou --  as one of the means to consolidate the film industries in the region. 

Professor Cheuk Pak-tong, director of the academy, and Wang see the trip as a testing ground for future opportunities for Hong Kong film students to apply their theoretical knowledge in the day-to-day filmmaking process in China. Cheuk noted that the young Singaporean filmmakers were subsidized by the government for their trip in China, which he hoped the Hong Kong government would do for the Baptist University film students. Student films from the academy had the chance to releasing their films in theaters in 2010, and Cheuk was optimistic that the trend of commercial release will continue in the coming year.

Salon, which celebrated its 50th anniversary of cross-border filmmaking with The World of Suzie Wong in 2009, is also launching a film funding initiative for new talent in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, for projects approved by the government-run Film Development Fund, the Singapore Film Commission and the China Independent Film Fund. Wang said the company would match the funding invested by the respective governments to film projects of young directors.

“We hope to cover the filmmaking process with our training programs and initiatives, to inject new blood into the film industry,” he said.