Hong Kong: Production support schemes launched

Hong Kong has launched two new film and broadcast support plans, one for cross-border production and one for broadcast content development. The maximum total value of the two projects is $15 million.

The measures, which are overseen by the city’s Film Development Fund, are aimed at supporting an industry that the local Film Producers Association said earlier this year is in crisis. While streaming has flourished in East Asia and elsewhere, Hong Kong’s industry has failed to develop a specialized streaming production sector.

The Hong Kong and Asia Film Collaboration Funding Program will support film projects co-produced by filmmakers between Hong Kong and Asian countries. A maximum of eight films will be supported in two phases. Each eligible film project will receive a grant of up to HK$9 million ($1.53 million).

Since Hong Kong is not a sovereign country, it cannot sign formal co-production treaties.

To qualify, the project will need to have at least one of three main positions (producer, director or screenwriter) from Hong Kong and one more to be from an Asian region. They must have previously been awarded Best Film, Director or Screenwriter at a major film festival and have seen at least 60% of a list of ten major jobs as Hong Kong permanent residents. The scholarships also require a film to spend 30% of the production budget in Hong Kong.

The other scheme, the Content Development Scheme for Streaming Platforms, is designed as a competition in which teams are invited to develop a mini-series that will be broadcast on streaming platforms.

In addition to the script development fee, each winning team will receive a total amount of up to $5.7 million. A maximum of eight winning teams will be supported. Each winning team may increase the investment through other financing deals that help them complete the project.

“We welcome the government’s decision to launch two new measures under the Film Development Fund. By encouraging co-productions by filmmakers between Hong Kong and Asian countries, the Hong Kong Asian Film Cooperation Funding Scheme will help local filmmakers expand their global visions and learn from the creative minds of the countries The aim is to bring new energy to the local population,” said the Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Dr. Wilfried Wong.

“With the wide coverage of broadcast platforms, the content development scheme for broadcast platforms will certainly help increase the exposure of Hong Kong’s products internationally.”

Since 2005, the Hong Kong government has channeled HK$1.54 billion (4,195 million) into the Film Distribution Fund (FDF) to support a number of film production and film-related projects along four strategic directions: nurturing talent, promoting local production, and expanding markets; and building audiences.

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