Organisers of the Hong Kong Asia International Film Finance Forum (HAF) will today (Tuesday, Apr 1) take a decision as to whether to press on with the projects market scheduled to take place next week (Apr 7-9).

Hong Kong is at the centre of an outbreak of a killer virus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This has infected 1,500 people worldwide and killed 54. Some 622 of the confirmed cases are located in Hong Kong.

With fears about the disease growing and a number of governments advising their citizens not to travel to Hong Kong, HAF has received a growing number of cancellations on the part of producers with projects, panellists and other delegates.

The HAF organisers will today hold a committee meeting that must decide whether to press ahead with next week's event, cancel it outright or postpone it to a later date. In order to be able to inform delegates as quickly as possible, the HAF organisers will later today meet with the territory's government which funded the event through the Film Development Fund. If the event is to be postponed it will require extra funding to cover additional expenses.

The organisers are understood to be in talks with another government body, the Trade Development Council, to postpone HAF to late June when it could dovetail with FilMart, a market for completed pictures.