The tenth edition of Filmartwrapped today with the organisers reporting record attendance and delegatesagreeing that this year was the biggest and busiest yet.

More than 400 companies tookbooths at the market while the number of buyers increased to almost 4,000.Meanwhile projects market, the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), whichruns concurrently with Filmart, attracted 616 investors, up 25% from last year,and participants said they were impressed with the range and quality of the 25selected projects.

This year marks the secondtime that Filmart has been held in late March - as an anchor event in Hong Kong's Entertainment Expo - and like last year, buyers and sellers said theyare finding it useful to have a market in Asia in the run-up to Cannes.

"It's been very productivefor us," said Judy Ahn, vice president of international business at Korea's Showbox. "It's been more about updating buyers onour new projects rather than closing deals but it's useful to have this time totalk before Cannes."

Delegates also welcomed theadditional day - the market ran for four rather than three days this year(March 20-23). Although the tradeshow floor in the Hong Kong Convention &Exhibition Centre had emptied out by this afternoon, the extra day enabledpeople to hold meetings for the whole of the third day, rather than break inthe afternoon to pack up their stands.

However, Carrie Wong,managing director of Hong Kong-based sales agent Golden Network Asia, observedthat it would more useful if the three-day financing forum started one daylater than the market.

"Everyone was busy and wedidn't have much chance to talk to the HAF participants," said Wong. "It wouldbe better if we could spend some time with them before HAF begins."

While sellers said thereseemed to be more Asian but fewer US and European buyers, the market is attracting agrowing number of Western sales agents. Both the UK Film Council and Unifrancebrought twice as many companies as last year and the market also featured aGerman pavilion housing seven companies for the first time.

"The UK companies said it'svery useful to spend more time with buyers from South-East Asia and make new contacts," said the UK Film Council's export development chief SarahMcKenzie. "Some companies also said they've had productive meetings with buyersfrom Europe."

Buyers said there appearedto be more Hong Kong product on offer this year which is ironic as theterritory is experiencing its lowest ever volume of production. But while thenumber of titles is dwindling, the overall quality seems to have increased withseveral strong projects in the pipeline including Jacob Cheung's Battle Of Wits, the Pang Brothers' Recycle and Johnnie To's Election 2 and Exiled.

In a move that appeared tobe a reaction to growing competition with the launch of the Asian Film Marketin South Korea this October, Filmart organiser, the Hong Kong Trade DevelopmentCouncil (TDC), also announced the findings of a survey this afternoon in which70% of respondents described Filmart/HAF as the most significant film event inAsia. Conducted by Oracle Added Value on the first two days of the market, thesurvey polled 81 exhibitors and 259 visitors.