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Hong Kong HAF 2014: opens doors

The Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has opened its call for submissions for its March 2014 edition.

HAF ambassador actress and director Charlie Yeung put her courtroom drama Christmas Rose to HAF in 2009, where it won an award. It took a solid US$3.8 million across three Chinese language territories earlier this year and plays Auckland as part of this month’s Hong Kong Festival (23 – 28 August).

Originated in 2003 by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to run alongside Filmart, HAF has been run for some years by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, which also organises the Asian Film Awards.

HAF accepts applications for fiction and documentary projects, usually presenting c25 projects at the forum. The forum offers a mix of cash and in-kind awards to projects in various categories, some of which are open only to locally-originated projects, some only to international projects.

Among the prizes on offer are guaranteed selection for other project markets, including one in Paris and NAFF, the Korean market event accompanying Asia’s largest genre festival, PiFan.

This year’s edition presented 25 projects, selected from 250 submissions from 51 territories. The line-up included a new project from 2010 Cannes winner Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL (Uncle Boonmee).

In previous years several filmmakers who are regulars on the international festival circuit,mostly but not exclusively from Asia, have presented projects at HAF. Park Chan-wook, who will present at this weekend’s Big Screen Symposium, put his vampire project Thirst through HAF in 2008. Park completed Thirst in time for it to collect a Jury Prize at Cannes the following year and return to Hong Kong to pick up the VFX award at the 2010 Asian Film Awards.

At the same awards, Bong Joon-ho’s Mother, which also went to HAF in 2008, took out the Best Film, Screenplay and Actress awards. Bong’s latest release, Snowpiercer, is produced by Park.

HAF submissions close 18 October. Earlybird discounts run until 5 September. The 12th edition of HAF will run 24 – 26 March next year.

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