Hong Kong Int’l FILMART Set for March

The Hong Kong Int’l Film & TV Market (FILMART) returns to Hall 5 of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre March 20-23, 2006. Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the annual event is held concurrently with the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and focuses on the latest trends in the Asian and international marketplace. Those encouraged to attend include film and TV producers and distributors, animation companies, broadcasters, cinema operators, festival organizers and other entertainment content and service providers.

According to a survey commissioned last year by HKTDC, visitors and exhibitors ranked FILMART the most important film and entertainment industry event in Asia, followed by the Tokyo Film Market (TIFCOM) and the Pusan Film Market. Last year’s edition attracted more than 350 exhibitors and 2,800 visitors from the global entertainment industry. Participants from 42 countries showed up as organizers saw double-digit growth in the number of exhibitors and visitors from Europe and the U.S.

HKTDC’s director of service promotion, Raymond Yip, comments, “FILMART represents a golden opportunity for International companies to explore the emerging business opportunities with Hong Kong as a gateway into the Chinese mainland, especially with the implementation of CEPA [(Closer Economic Partnership Agreement)].’

A highlight of the three-day event is the Digital Entertainment Pavilion, which brings together companies specializing in animation, digital post-production, online games and edu-tainment software. Last year’s overseas participants included The Animation Council of the Philippines and Singapore Animators Connection.

“We weren’t expecting such a huge turnout of international companies,” Grace Dimaranan, VP of the Animation Council of the Philippines, commented after the show. “So far we’ve met companies from France, Russia and Malaysia who are looking for TV content and are also interested in outsourcing 2D and 3D animation work to the Philippines.”

The mart is open only to those working in the trade. Buyers who Register on or before Feb. 18, 2006, will receive free admission. The regular admission fee is $260 per person (HK$2000). The Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre is located at 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Harbour Road Entrance).

More information on the fair and online registration can be found at www.hkfilmart.com/hkfilmart. The site also hosts an online screening room where visitors can catch trailers of some of the animated programs brought to the event by exhibitors. The new clips should be posted in January.