The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is expected to announce tomorrow that its annual film and TV market, Filmart, will be postponed to September 24-26 as a result of the ongoing SARS crisis.

The widely expected postponement comes after a recent survey by the TDC which found around 60% of buyers and other scheduled attendees in favour of moving the market from its late June time slot.

The new dates mean that Filmart will take place just prior to South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival (October 2-10). The TDC is hoping that film executives travelling to Asia will attend both events.

However the rescheduled Hong Kong market is heading into a busy period in the film industry calendar, including Venice International Film Festival (August 27 - September 16), the Toronto film festival (September 4-13) and San Sebastian (September 18-27).

The postponement also casts doubt on the future of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) also postponed due to SARS. HAF organisers were considering holding the event concurrently with Filmart in June but are now talking about an indefinite postponement.