In late March every year, the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo kicks off. The umbrella event includes the public-friendly Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), project market Hong Kong Asia Financing Forum (HAF), market event FILMART, the more local Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) and the much broader Asian Film Awards (AFA) – although those moved a short ferry ride away to Macau this year.
In January, the positioning began with the announcement of the contenders for the HKFA gongs. Those usually follow the announcements of the contenders for the AFA, which were a little delayed this year as the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed for the move to Macau. Either way, this year was the year of Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster, which dominated the nominations for both.
Also in late January HAF announced its project selections, with a greater concentration than usual on projects wholly from within Asia. By late February the 28 February the more cosmopolitan HKIFF announced its selections. For the second year running, a NZ short was named in competition.
In mid-March FILMART cranked up the publicity machine, announcing record numbers even before the tills were closed and the event open.
HAF became the first of the events to hand out its awards, around the time FILMART was winding down.
In between those two sets of awards, the HKIFF closed and handed out its own gongs – including, for the second year in a row, one for a win by a NZ short.