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Packing the bags for Filmart

Next Monday Hong Kong’s annual Filmart opens, with a strong selection of international sales and distribution companies offering their wares.

As a free port, Hong Kong allows pretty much all kinds of film titles to be traded, meaning sales agents and distributors can let the buyers worry about censorship requirements in Asia. Launched at Filmart in 2012, Sex & Zen famously had 17 different cuts for its release into various Asian territories.

A fair selection of recent NZ titles, plus a few not so recent ones, will be on offer at Filmart. Fresh from announcing sales at last month’s Berlinale, Born to Dance, which has its video release here on 30 March, will be in CMG’s bag. Some Asian territories are already sold, including China, India, the Philippines and South Korea.

Leanne Pooley's Beyond the Edge

Leanne Pooley’s Beyond the Edge

The UK’s Altitude Film Sales has Leanne Pooley’s Beyond the Edge and Florian Habicht’s Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets in its catalogue. On the way Altitude has former hobbit Martin Freeman leading Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories, which will shoot in September.

Tim Haslam’s Embankment Films has a couple of Aussie titles, the recent The Dressmaker and Abe Forsythe’s upcoming Aussie multicultural comedy Down Under, about racists defending their Sydney suburb from Middle Easterners.

Hanway, which took on much of the NZFC catalogue when the agency got out of the sales business, probably has the largest catalogue of the British exhibitors at Filmart. It includes the Finola Dwyer-produced recent BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee, Brooklyn, along with John Maclean’s South Island-shot Slow West. Hanway also has Ben Wheatley’s High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston who’s currently on TV3’s The Night Manager.

Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Protagonist Pictures, part of the deal that saw Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople leave Sundance with a s good sales deal, also picked up the Ant Timpson-produced The Greasy Strangler. Protagonist also has Dome Karukoski upcoming Tom of Finland, although that’s unlikely to be a big part of offer in many Asian markets.

Wild Bunch, , will give Mahana (travelling as The Patriarch) a market screening on Filmart’s opening day.

Regan Hall's Fast Girls

Regan Hall’s Fast Girls

Expat director Regan Hall’s Fast Girls is with Metro International Entertainment. Acort has David Blyth’s Ghost Bride, while Arclight’s Easternlight has Chinese title Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal, which did post work here. Among the older titles, The Works has Niki Caro’s Whale Rider. XYZ has Toa Fraser’s The Dead Lands and the newest Kiwi title on offer, Fraser’s upcoming 6 Days.

British genre specialists Jinga Films has a tightly-focused offer, and also take coals to Newcastle in the shape of action title SPL 2: A Time for Consequences. Led by Tony Jaa (Ong Bak), it was shot in Hong Kong.

Also receiving a Gala Presentation at the HKIFF, Terence Davies’ NZ-shot Sunset Song, featuring BSS presenter and Top of the Lake actor Peter Mullan, is in Fortissimo’s bag for Filmart. Fortissimo also has Sue Brooks’ Australian feature Looking For Grace.

Sunset Song

Sunset Song

Filmart runs 14 – 17 March in Hong Kong as part of the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo, which also includes the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

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