Agroup of Hong Kong film industry figures is expecting to increasebusiness activities with the US following a trademission organised by the US Consulate General'sCommercial Service in Hong Kong.

A delegation of senior executives from sevenHong Kong film companies took part in the second ImaginAsian Film Trade Mission (Oct24 - Nov 1) tomeet with US firms involved in film production, distribution, financingand training.

They visited New York, Los Angeles andSan Francisco and toured facilities including Paramount Studios, RaleighStudios and Dolby Laboratories, along with the Chapman Film School.

Although no deals were announced following themission, the Hong Kong reps said that negotiations with US firms are underway.For example, Sun Wah Media, one of the participating Hong Kong companies, plansto bring US documentaries to China for broadcast on local movie channels.

"We want to try our hand at documentaries, notso much films for theatrical release because of the import quotas for theatricalfilms," said Douglas Hui, CEO of Hong Kong-based Sun Wah Media. "But there's nosuch restriction on documentaries being broadcast on movie channels. China isan untapped market for US documentaries."

Sun Wah Media is a member of the Sun Wah Groupwhich has vast media interests in mainland China. It recently announced a jointventure with Japan's Kadokawa Holdings to build multiplex cinemas in China.

Other participants in the mission includedFred Wang of Salon Films, who is interested in cooperating with Chapman to opena global film and TV school in Hong Kong, and Rigo Jesu of Intercontinental Group,who is in talks with Dolby Laboratories for digital cinemas in Hong Kong andChina.

Also participating were Mandarin Entertainmentchairman Raymond Wong, Victor Wong of Menfond Electronic Art & ComputerDesign and Raymond Ho of Directors Network Asia.

The delegation also introduced their UScounterparts to potential market opportunities created by CEPA (Closer EconomicPartnership Arrangement) II & III between Hong Kong and mainland China. Under the third phase of CEPA, introduced thisyear, Hong Kong companies are permitted to establish wholly owned compaines onthe mainland to construct or renovate cinemas.