Create HK

Source: The Hong Kong Film Development Council

Top row L-R: Sasha Chuk, Saville Chan, Tang Yi’; Bottom row: Chan Tai Lee, Debbie Lam, Jacqueline Liu

The Hong Kong Film Development Council (FDC) is set to introduce a new funding initiative at the European Film Market (EFM) that aims to further facilitate international collaborations and elevate Hong Kong cinema on the global stage.

The Hong Kong-Europe-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme is set up as an extension of the existing Asian Scheme, announced in November 2022 to encourage and support co-productions between Hong Kong and Asia. The latest Europe-Asian Scheme aims to cast the net wider, hooking up Hong Kong filmmakers with their European counterparts.

“The Europe-Asian Scheme will subsidise film projects co-produced by filmmakers from European and Asian countries that feature Hong Kong, European and Asian elements,” says FDC Chairman Wilfred Wong, who has headed up FDC since 2019.

“This will help promising Hong Kong filmmakers broaden their horizons, draw inspiration from overseas film productions and gain a better understanding of the market mechanisms in Europe, enabling Hong Kong cinema to travel farther abroad.”

Selection process

Like the Asian Scheme, the Europe-Asian Scheme will, in combination, select up to eight film projects. Each eligible film will be awarded a grant of up to hk$9m (approximately $1.1m).

The Europe-Asian Scheme bears the same prerequisites as the Asian Scheme, including the involvement of at least one Hong Kong and one European or Asian film practitioner among the three key creative roles (producer, director and screenwriter); they must have also been awarded or nominated in an internationally recognised film festival or local award. There is no restriction on the third position.

Six out of 10 production categories have to be filled by Hong Kong’s permanent residents, while at least 30% of below-the-line expenditure must be spent in Hong Kong. The Europe-Asian Scheme will open the call for proposals in the second quarter of 2024 and further details can be found at

Head of Create Hong Kong Victor Tsang and FDC Secretary-General Gary Mak will attend the EFM for the launch of the Europe-Asian Scheme; they will bring a delegation of five outstanding Hong Kong filmmakers made up of three producers and two directors.

The three producers are Saville Chan (The Way We Dance, A Light Never Goes Out); Debbie Lam, Vice-Chairperson of the Hong Kong Movie Production Executives Association; and Jacqueline Liu (Tracey,Keep Rolling). They will participate in the Visitors Programme of the Berlinale Co-Production Market to gain insight into the international marketplace and expand their global outreach.

The delegation also includes directors Chan Tai Lee (Tomorrow Is Another Day) and Sasha Chuk (Fly Me To The Moon), who will be introduced alongside the producers at a dedicated Hong Kong Night and Berlinale Talents’ Happy Hour. Tang Yi (All The Crows In The World), an emerging director from Hong Kong who has been selected by Berlinale Talents this year, will also join these events.

“The delegation is a showcase of both established and emerging filmmakers from Hong Kong,” says Wong. “It aligns with our strategies of creating international collaboration opportunities for local talents and of building a strong and successful connection with the global film industry.”

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG) set up the Film Development Fund (FDF) in 1999 to drive the development of the industry. Since 2005, the HKSARG has injected a total of hk$1.54bn ($197m) into the FDF. The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address has announced injecting around hk$1.4bn ($179m) into the FDF in 2024-25 to support the development of the local film industry.

Over the years, FDC has rolled out a raft of funding programmes to cater to different needs and move with the times. While the Film Production Financing Scheme is a long-standing programme for local productions, recent initiatives include the Content Development Scheme for Streaming Platforms, launched in 2022 in view of the accelerating growth of global OTT, and the Film Financing Scheme for Mainland Market, an initiative announced last year to support productions made by Hong Kong directors that aim for release in China.

To foster a new generation of aspiring Hong Kong filmmakers, the Directors’ Succession Scheme and First Feature Film Initiative provide both funding support and additional mentorship and training under the guidance of veteran producers.

Recent notable projects funded by the FDC include Jack Ng’s A Guilty Conscience, which made history as the highest-grossing Hong Kong film of all time, as well as the award-winning films Ka Sing Fung’s Lost Love, Anastasia Tsang’s A Light Never Goes Out and Nick Cheuk’s Time Still Turns The Pages. All four were feature directorial debuts.