Hong Kong launches support fund for Asian and streaming production, first feature winners reveal | New

Hong Kong has launched two film funding programs to support co-productions with Asia and develop streaming content in a bid to take the local film industry to new heights.

The Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC) announced the measures today at a press event titled New Power of Hong Kong Cinema, where winners of the ongoing First Feature Film Initiative (FFFI) were also announced. announced (see below for the full list).

Together, the two new programs are worth up to $15 million (HK$117.6 million) and fall under the city’s Film Development Fund (FDF).

The Hong Kong-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme will select up to eight projects, each of which will receive a grant of up to $1.15 million (HK$9 million). Some of the requirements include the involvement of at least one Hong Kong and one Asian film practitioner among the top three creative roles of producer, director and screenwriter who must have been awarded or nominated at an internationally renowned film festival or award local. At least 30% of below-line spending must be spent in Hong Kong.

“By encouraging co-productions by filmmakers between Hong Kong and Asian countries, the Hong Kong Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme will help local filmmakers broaden their global visions and learn from the creative minds of other Asian countries with a view to bringing new energy to the local film industry,” said HKFDC Chairman Dr Wilfred Wong.

Additionally, the content development program for streaming platforms will select up to eight teams through a competition. Shortlisted teams must submit a detailed proposal and full script for the first six to 12 episodes of a drama series and will be awarded up to $152,000 (HK$1.2 million) for script development. Each of the winning teams will then receive $573,000 (HK$4.5 million).

Wong said that this program takes into account the “wide coverage of streaming platforms” and predicts that it “will certainly help to increase the exposure of Hong Kong productions internationally”.

Since 2005, the Hong Kong government has injected $196 million (HK$1.54 billion) into the FDF to support Hong Kong film productions and film-related projects through various programs such as the funding for film production (FPFS) and the FFFI.

Hong Kong productions that will benefit from the FDF include recent box office hits Chilli Laugh Story and Mom’s business as good as The sparring partner, which opened last week to strong reviews. Other recipients announced this year include Look for and sun of my life.

The winners of the 7th FFFI were also announced at today’s event. Six winning teams were selected and received total funding of nearly $5 million (HK$39 million). Veteran producers who will be teaming up with first-time directors include Fruit Chan (three husbands), Soi Cheang (Limbo) and Saville Chan (Our way of dancing).

2022 First Feature Film Initiative Winners

Occupational group [each project awarded $1m (HK$8m)]

spare queens
Real. Tom Chung-sing
Pro. Chan Hing-kai
To write. Tom Chung-sing, Lee Po-chi

The manager of a struggling bowling team must team up with her lifelong rival, putting aside their differences to take on new challenges together.

Love and sex streaming
Real. Yu Sze-long
Pro. Ip Kwong Kim
To write. Yu Sze-long, Ho Miu-ki

Stumbled upon a sex video featuring his girlfriend and her ex, a young man sees his perception of sex and love turned upside down by a camgirl and finds himself in the world of live streaming.

Stuntman
say. Albert Leung Koon-yiu, Herbert Leung Koon-shun
Pro. Angus Chan Lo-chiu
To write. Anatasia Tsang Hin-ling, Yip Wai-ping

A failed action movie star pursues his comeback to regain his fame, but again disrupts his relationship with his daughter.

Higher Education Institutions Group [each project awarded $637,000 (HK$5m)]

Eternal Sunshine Rescue Squad
Dir-wri. Li Sum-yuet
Pro. Fruit Chan

In 2000, cases of suicide by burning coal multiplied on the island of Cheung Chau. The islanders’ livelihoods were affected and they formed the rescue team. A guest house owner implemented the ‘three no’s rental rules’ and a part-time girl at the supermarket observed customers who were likely to buy charcoal to kill themselves. Some islanders were on the lookout for distressed visitors. Sometimes they managed to stop the tragedy. Some survivors even joined the team. Sometimes they made mistakes in the rescue efforts. Through trial and error, they explored the basic needs in people’s hearts.

Dead end
Dir-wri. Isabel Lam
Pro. Soi Cheang

A young father makes a migration decision without informing his loved ones, creating tense moments in the family. Meanwhile, several dead bodies around town remind him of his father’s death, leading him to suspect that his family is trying to hide something.

Bird of Paradise
Dir-wri. Wu Chui-yi
Pro. Saville Chan

Eagerly longing for one last bloom of her youth, Mama Yeung hides her stubborn husband and rebellious son, and enters the world of pole dancing. But when her secret is accidentally revealed, it creates a dilemma between meeting her family’s needs and pursuing her dream.

Kimberly B. Nguyen