Multimedia convergence will be the major theme at thisyear's Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (Filmart), which takesplace June 23-25.

Theeight-year-old market, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council(TDC), aims to expand its exhibitor base with new media companies and provide aplatform for cross media collaboration.

Three conferences will be held during the three-day event:"Digital Technology", which looks at digital production and exhibition, "HongKong on China: An outlook for TV and Digital Media Convergence", featuringspeakers from Shanghai Media Group, France 5 and Viacom Asia, and "TheImportance of Music in Film Production".

In addition, a Digital Entertainment Pavilion will be stagedto showcase the latest trends in digital graphics and visual effects.

The market is also introducing the "Asian Independent MovieScreenings" which will present 15 independent films from China, Hong Kong,Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. Titles include Waiting Alone fromChina's Dayyan Eng, Love In May from Taiwan's Hsu Hsiao-ming and WomanOf Breakwater from the Philippines' Mario O'Hara.

According to the TDC, a record 304 exhibitors from 25countries have so far registered for the market, including 67 from Hong Kongand 62 from mainland China. Large delegations are also attending from Canada,India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and the US.

The market also plans to host the world premiere of a HongKong movie at the closing ceremony and premieres may also be screened at theChinese mainland National Night and the Thai National Night. Titles have yet tobe confirmed. Actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai will also be on hand to add somesparkle as this year's Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador.