On Monday morning Hong Kong’s Filmart will open the doors on its 21st edition. Asia’s largest market event draws around 800 exhibitors and well over 7,000 buyers.
The event’s conference programme has strong focuses on documentary and online content this year. Almost one in six Filmart exhibitors this year is offering some form of factual content, from serious documentaries through to reality and lifestyle programming. Hong Kong filmmaker Ruby Yang, Oscar winner for her doco short The Blood of Yingzhou District will lead one of the sessions.
A late addition to the programme is Andrew Hevia – former Hong Kong resident and producer of this year’s Best Film Oscar winner Moonlight.
The ASEAN region, promoting the recently-formed umbrella Film ASEAN at Filmart last year, seemed on a roll. One of the region’s key facilities, Malaysia’s Pinewood Iskandar studios, has since lost two major international productions with ITV’s Indian Summers and the Weinstein’s Marco Polo (which employed several Kiwis) both ending after their second seasons.
Despite – or perhaps because of – such losses, there’s an increased presence from the ASEAN region at Filmart this year. Thailand, which after many years of dithering introduced an incentive scheme last year, has a particularly strong offer to promote in 2017. Indonesia, currently drawing attention with the international release of Headshot, featuring The Raid’s Iko Uwais and Julie Estelle, also has an increased presence. Four companies exhibit from Vietnam, currently featuring large on screens worldwide in Kong: Skull Island.
All up, over 80 exhibitors attend from seven ASEAN countries.
Among the new arrivals this year are a number of post companies keen to tout for business. Digital Domain (from all the way back to Titanic through to last year’s Deadpool) is one of those, and is planning to create mocap facilities as part of the Qingdao production hub being financed by Wanda. Korea’s Digital Idea, which did much of the VFX work on last year’s well-travelled Train To Busan, is also looking for opportunities.
The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) runs 13 – 16 March as part of Hong Kong’s Entertainment Expo, which also includes project market HAF and the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), which reveals its full programme tomorrow (Tuesday 14 March).