The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) has unveiled details of this year's Filmart (September 24-26), which looks set to be the biggest yet, despite being postponed for three months due to the SARS outbreak.
According to the TDC, the number of exhibitors registered to attend has increased by 26% to 240 companies from 25 countries, while the number of buyers is set to outstrip last year's 1,612. The TDC has doubled the market's floor space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in response to the demand.
The TDC believes that one factor driving attendance is the recent announcement of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) - a trade agreement between Hong Kong and mainland China which has wide-ranging consequences for the film industry.
"With the signing of CEPA, tremendous new co-operation and co-investment opportunities will open up for Hong Kong as an intermediary between China and the rest of the world," said Golden Harvest chairman Raymond Chow who heads the TDC's Entertainment Industry Advisory Committee.
This year's market will offer new services including a consultancy service, a video screening room and an online trailer screening and appointment scheduling platform. The seminar programme includes discussions on tripartite co-production (between Hong Kong, China and overseas companies), cross-media synergies and successful marketing.
The TDC is also injecting some sparkle into the event with an opening cocktail party, to be attended by local stars including market ambassador Jackie Chan, and a closing night premiere expected to be Infernal Affairs 2.