The Hong Kong government has announced the establishment of the long-awaited Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC) to be chaired by Jack So who is currently chairman of the existing Film Development Committee.

The new body will advise the government on policy for the promotion and development of the Hong Kong film industry; the use of public funds to support the industry, and related areas such as training and promotion of film literacy. It will be established as part of Hong Kong 's Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) alongside the existing Entertainment and Broadcasting divisions.

The government also announced 16 non-official members of the HKFDC including the 11 current members of the Film Development Committee - established in 2005 as a precursor to the HKFDC - and five new members including veteran filmmaker Ng See-yuen and directors Gordon Chan and Mabel Cheung.

Hong Kong 's Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, currently Joseph Wong, will serve as vice chairman of the new body. 'The HKFDC is a very important committee to advise the government on the overall policy and strategy for the short and long-term development of the local film industry,' said Wong in a statement.

'We will also consult the HKFDC on specific measures to promote the film industry, including the detailed arrangements for the Film Development Fund with an increase in commitment of HK$300m [$38m] and an expanded scope to provide funding support for small-to-medium budget film productions.'

The $38m funding injection was first announced at the end of February by Hong Kong financial secretary Henry Tang in his budget address to the Legislative Council.

A paper presented to LegCo last week proposed that the new Film Development Fund should invest in small-to-medium budget films rather than offering grants or subsidies.

It also proposed that the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing (CTEL) should serve as controlling officer of the fund with the HKFDC secretariat overseeing administration. The paper also suggested that decisions on how the money is spent should be made upon the advice of a reconstituted 'Vetting Committee' set up under the FDC and comprising some FDC members and others from the film industry or other professions.

The old Film Development Fund, established in 1999 with $13m (HK$100m), supported training and overseas promotion of Hong Kong films but didn't invest directly in film productions. Half of this money was redeployed into the Film Guarantee Fund in 2003 which aimed to help local producers obtain bank loans. However, the scheme was widely considered a failure due to the small amounts of funding that were involved.


Jack So (chairman)

Gordon Chan

Chan Wing-mei

Mabel Cheung

Felix Fong

Crucindo Hung

Bill Kong

Terry Lai

Peter Lam

Ng See-yuen

John Sham

Nansun Shi

Suen Kwok-lam

Wong Chi-keung

Raymond Wong

Wong Ying-wai

Ex-officio members:

Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

Secretary for Home Affairs or his representative

Executive director of the HK Trade Development Council