See the bigger picture on the film industry

13 June 2013 12 h 43 min Comments Off

Share this Article

Author:

ma

(Scmp,Jun 17, 2013) Ma Fung-kwok says the city has missed an opportunity.

The Film Development Council will review its funding schemes and draft new proposals for nurturing talent, but these won’t be enough to move the industry forward if film development is not considered within the context of overall cultural policy, the council’s new chairman has said.

“If we can’t talk about cultural policy, problems with the development of Hong Kong’s film industry can’t be resolved,” Ma Fung-kwok told the South China Morning Post.

Ma, who is also the lawmaker for the culture and sports functional constituency, said that cultural and creative industries, which under the government’s classification include film and 10 other industries, should be incorporated into and synchronised with the city’s cultural policy planning.

He cited South Korea’s success, saying the country’s holistic approach covering creative fields, talent training, research and development, as well as technology, was the key.

In Hong Kong, under the current policy structure, film falls under the remit of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, which looks at trade and commerce. Such segregation overlooks the cultural side of creative industries, Ma said.

He said the current set-up was proposed back in 2003 when the now defunct Culture and Heritage Commission, established by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, drafted a cultural policy recommendation report, which covered a range of issues from Hong Kong’s cultural identity to arts development, creative industries, heritage and the West Kowloon Cultural District.

“In 2004, Tung accepted the proposal. But then, [the commission] was disbanded after he stepped down. Hong Kong went back to the old thinking. We missed the chance,” said Ma, who was a member of the commission.

Ma said he hopes existing initiatives such as those providing funding for film productions can be kept and fine-tuned in the next few years. He said managing public expectations will also be important coming off the back of last year’s audit report on the film industry, which lamented the low return rate of government-funded film projects and had given the public a negative impression.

“But this isn’t right. If the market is okay and [filmmakers] can make money, they wouldn’t have to apply for funding,” said Ma, himself a former film producer and co-founder Media Asia, a local film industry powerhouse now owned by showbiz tycoon Peter Lam Kin-ngok.

Films should be judged by both their economic value and social value, which includes artistic value, impact on the industry and talent cultivation, he said.

A thorough review of the Film Development Fund will be needed, he added. The fund, which has supported film projects, events and screenings of local productions at overseas festivals, will be depleted next year. Since 2007 when the government injected HK$300 million into the fund, it has handed out HK$72.4 million for 26 productions.

While the First Feature Film Initiative, a competition of first-time filmmakers that offers a direct subsidy to the winning film project, will help train talent, Ma said he hopes more will be done for script writing and post-production talent.

Of the 50 Hong Kong films produced on average a year, few had post-production, such as editing and sound mixing, done here, Ma said.

Land policy is also seen as a factor. Ma said it has been hard for cinemas, bookstores and other outlets for cultural content to endure the high rents in shopping malls. “Some districts don’t even have cinemas,” he said.

A review of existing land resources should be done to set aside space for production sets and studios, Ma suggested.

Related posts:

Comments are closed

Other News

  • China (mainland) film Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Jiang Wen (R), a well-known Chinese director, walks down the red carpet with his wife Zhou Yun at the opening ceremony of the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Aug 29, 2013. [Photo / Xinhua] (Xinhua, 04 Sep, 2013)Chinese films have achieved over the past few years very positive results in terms of both quantity and quality, and will drive their technology-led development, 70th Venice Film Festival president Alberto Barbera told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview. This venerable [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 26 Aug, 2013) Cloudary Corp – an online literature platform owned by interactive media giant Shanda Group – said on Friday that it reached a film script agreement with the Chinese movie firm Seven Stars Films. Seven Stars Films, a movie production and investment firm owned by Chinese media entrepreneu r Bruno Wu, will link Cloudary’s literature with the world’s movie industry. Wu, who is married to popular TV host Yang Lan, founded Seven Star Films in 2012. The [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film China’s movie market booms with local content

    China’s movie market booms with local content

    ( Agencies, 23 Aug, 2013) In “American Dreams in China”, Cheng Dongqing is giving a lecture in an abandoned factory in Beijing . Snow falls through the damaged roof and a power cut sends students reaching for their flashlights. The movie , about how young Chinese in the 1990s tried every means to learn English so they could study overseas, is part of a boom in domestic productions that is outpacing foreign film s at the box office in China. [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Fast forward with film

    Fast forward with film

    (China Daily, 23 Aug, 2013) In the past year, Chinese films have galloped ahead like a dark horse, beating Hollywood imports. It is hardly surprising that most of these domestic hits are comedies. Comedy is mostly local. When Hollywood sent scouts to recover the secret formula, many of them reported that these Chinese movies were not particularly funny. Of course not. When you translate every line into English, you have lost much of the fun, leaving only a few sight [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital Mobile game firms looking abroad

    Mobile game firms looking abroad

    (China Daily, 21 Aug, 2013) Intensifying domestic competition is driving Chinese mobile game developers into overseas markets, said Google Inc, owner of the world’s most used smartphone operating system. Japan and South Korea may become “sizeable” money-spinners for developers in China in the coming years, it added. “Tapping into South Korea and Japan makes sense for Chinese developers, because both countries have a large smartphone user base and high sales volume in the mobile gaming sector,” said Ben Zhang, China [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) tv PPTV denies buyout rumors

    PPTV denies buyout rumors

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 14 Aug, 2013) Online video provider PPTV has denied rumors it will be jointly acquired by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hunan Satellite TV. “We have noticed related media reports. PPTV is operating independently, well, and we have nothing to announce at present,” PPTV told China Daily on Wednesday. A report from IT industry portal 36kr.com said on Wednesday that the prospective deal is almost closed, with the transaction reaching $400 million. It cited venture capital sources [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Film industry needs long tail to grow

    Film industry needs long tail to grow

    (China Daily, 15 Aug, 2013) The domestic film market registered record half-yearly box office returns of 10.9 billion yuan ($1.77 billion) in the first six months of this year, up 35 percent year-on-year, and there have been excited voices saying that the Chinese film industry is about to boom in the international market. However, box office success is just part of the industry’s chain, and without the further development of licensed movie merchandising, the Chinese film industry is still in [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 15 Aug, 2013) A new mobile phone game on WeChat, a social network app in China, is proving so popular that it’s causing hand injuries for many Chinese users. The game, which was recently introduced to WeChat’s 400 million subscribers, allows users to compete online with their friends in aircraft battles. Within two hours after the release of the game on Aug 5, there were more than 180 million downloads. But Zou Cheng, an orthopedic doctor at Hangzhou First [...]

    Read more →