Event Preview: FILMART


The 28th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) raises its curtain next week, taking place March 11 to 14 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), FILMART is a core Entertainment Expo Hong Kong event.

The 2023 FILMART marked a return to in-person gathering, which was met with much enthusiasm. “This year, with the market being fully recovered from the pandemic, we will deliver a full-scale physical exhibition, along with special events, seminars, market screenings, press conferences and more to sustain FILMART as Asia’s leading entertainment content marketplace,” an organizer tells World Screen Weekly.

“FILMART continues to be Asia’s leading entertainment content marketplace and brings together key industry players from all over the globe to obtain market intelligence, establish networks and explore potential business opportunities,” they continue.

Along with EntertainmentPulse, a concurrent conference series of FILMART, the synergized events will feature diverse entertainment content and film projects from around the world that are tapping into the Asian market and will also bring more content from ASEAN countries and mainland China to the world. Co-production, project investment and content streaming, as well as uses of technologies for content production, such as virtual production and generative AI, will also be promoted.

For the 2024 event, around 750 exhibitors from 25 countries and regions joining FILMART will be connected to more than 7,500 industry professionals from over 50 countries and regions attending the show. FILMART extends from four days of the physical event to two months (one month prior and one month after) via FILMART Online, where the content and projects from exhibitors will be featured to bolster business connections with platform participants—all helping to develop Hong Kong as the regional IP-trading hub.

“During the pandemic, we noticed the rapid growth of virtual production and video streaming, which helped sustain content production and distribution,” an organizer says. “As such, we have themed EntertainmentPulse with more discussions about content-enabling technologies. We also repositioned the online platform of FILMART as extending the four-day event into one month before and after, providing more business-matching connectivity for exhibitors and visitors. The platform also supports the showcasing of creative IPs (i.e., film and entertainment projects) that are available at FILMART, uplifting FILMART as a creative IP marketplace conducive to the development of Hong Kong into the IP-trading hub for promoting the cultural and creative industries as set out on the HKSAR Government Policy Address 2023.”

EntertainmentPulse is, indeed, back this year, bringing together industry leaders for in-depth discussions on a range of tracks and topics. The Market Development Track will cover topics on HK-Euro-Asia co-production (co-organized with the Hong Kong Film Development Council and Bridging the Dragon), the mainland China market and Asia market, featuring Cristiano Bortone from Bridging the Dragon, Roland Teichmann of the Austrian Film Institute, Gary Mak of the Hong Kong Film Development Council and more. The Technology Track will cover topics on video streaming (co-organized with the Asia Video Industry Association), AI generative content and digital entertainment and will feature Fu Binxing of Huace Group, Kelvin Yau of iQIYI, Marianne Lee of Viu and others. The Industry Development Track will comprise youth engagement programs such as a sharing session with young local directors and a forum to discuss technology applications on content creation, with a lineup that includes, among others, Sasha Chuk, director of Fly Me to the Moon, and Jonathan Li, director of Dust to Dust.

The first day of FILMART introduces Thai Day, highlighting Thailand’s participation. The Ministry of Culture is staging a Thai Pavilion. Also, a virtual production studio will be set up for the first time, where media partners can run their interviews and apply the technology to live content production on-site at FILMART. The newly established Salon Media Lab (SML) and Hong Kong Film Composers’ Association (HKFCA) join FILMART with booth participation and an event. SML will host an annual conference for its Asia Content Business Summit, and HKFCA will launch the first edition of the Hong Kong Film Music Art Festival with an orchestra performance to be conducted at 5 p.m. on day one of FILMART in Theatre 1.

Leveraging the FILMART online platform that is now live until April 13, exhibitors’ creative IPs will be featured and promoted with dedicated business referrals and business-matching services. Through the platform, FILMART will aim to foster business opportunities in content production, distribution, co-production and investment.

On day two of the event, a co-production panel will spotlight the challenges and opportunities of HK-Euro-Asia co-productions. In addition, an incoming delegation from Europe will be organized by Bridging the Dragon and the Hong Kong Film Development Council to join FILMART. Key delegates include Bortone, managing director of Bridging the Dragon; Teichmann, director of the Austrian Film Institute; and Christiane Krone-Raab, head of the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Commission.

“Through the four-day event, not only do we hope people will be spellbound by the staggering amount of productions that we house, but we also hope people [will] leave FILMART with a fruitful business-matching experience by leveraging our online platform that does not close until a month after the event,” an organizer tells World Screen Weekly.