In late March every year, the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo kicks off for a month of entertainment activities, many of them screen-related. The umbrella event includes the public-friendly Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), project market Hong Kong Asia Financing Forum (HAF), global market event FILMART, the more local Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) and the much broader Asian Film Awards (AFA) – a short ferry ride away in Macau.
HAF cast a wider net this year than last, and named an Australian project in the mix. Although it wasn’t named one of HAF’s award winners, it was well-supported by an Australian delegation, led by SPA.
FILMART, the main event of the Expo from SCREENZ’s perspective, announced record-breaking numbers ahead of its opening, and got off to a good start. As always, there was a strong offer of genre fare and a small if decent amount of NZ participation.
FILMART’s conference programme ranged far and wide, a highlight being Jeff Gomez, who sat down for an extensive interview with SCREENZ. So much good stuff did Gomez have to share, it’s split as part one and part two.
The popular AFA, as seen on TV in many parts of Asia, opened its doors a little later than usual this year, having shifted from one casino to another in Macau. On the big night, the awards were handed out to a much broader range of titles than last year, when Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster dominated the proceedings.
Hong Kong’s Film Awards traditionally close out the Entertainment Expo, a more local celebration after the international media and attention has moved on. Nominees are announced early in the year, giving plenty of time to chew fingernails ahead of the awards ceremony.