FILMART and EntertainmentPulse, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), assembled more than 7,300 leading entertainment figures from 41 countries and regions all over the world. From March 13-16, 2023, the four-day content marketplace successfully showcased a great variety of cross-media, cross-genre content and brought numerous business opportunities for participants. The confident global exhibitors and buyers were delighted to network in person. “This is my first time attending FILMART. HKTDC helped line up over 10 business matching meetings which are all helpful in establishing business contacts and develop new opportunities. I’m sure some would come to fruition with follow ups,” said Ms Jean Dong, Founder & Chairman of Zespa Media Group, based in London and Beijing.
Over 700 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions gathered at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) for Asia’s largest cross-media and cross-industry film and TV entertainment trade expo. The Mainland China exhibitor tally at FILMART exceeded 330, a record, including the three major streaming platforms – iQIYI, Tencent and Youku. The revived physical marketplace was as vibrant and active as in the past, reuniting industry players from all around the globe for business partnerships.
Innovation and technology had a strong presence, as the Hong Kong Animation & Digital Entertainment Pavilion at FILMART gathered more than 30 local companies offering animation, digital effects and interactive media – the three major digital entertainment areas – to promote innovative technology development. Their innovations included creative content rendered through digital effects and Web 3. EntertainmentPulse, the concurrent conference series of FILMART, featured a dedicated session on Web3 in the entertainment industry, whose leaders also discussed the prospects and potential of Asian content, the hype behind dating and romance reality shows, and Chinese donghua (animation) as soft power.
Growing interest in dating and romance reality shows
Dating and romance reality shows are not new to the TV landscape but are finding great success once again. During the Love Story Wanted: Hype behind Dating and Romance Reality Show session, Mr Yosuke Muramoto, Director and Chief Producer of YD Creation, described how to captivate audiences: “The question is ‘What is true love?’. But how many people amongst the viewers could answer that? This is truly the topic that everyone wants to know and what keeps the viewers coming back.”.
Web3 redefines engagement in the entertainment industry
The entertainment industry is fuelled by creativity, and technology can accelerate its development. The latest breakthrough innovation is Web3, which makes entertainment more realistic and engaging. In the session Uncovering the Application of Web3 in Entertainment Industry, Ms Jenefer Brown, EVP and Head of Global Products and Experiences of Lionsgate, discussed how brands should engage consumers with Web3: “We should approach it in the way that fans could understand and avoid the technical terminologies. The way we market it and engage with fans should always be very simplified. The key to success is to make it feel trusted, understandable and not complicated. The more steps involved, the more people we lose.”
New era for Hong Kong Movies
Several Hong Kong productions have broken Hong Kong box-office records recently. In Dialogue with Hong Kong Directors: The Spring of Hong Kong Movies? renowned Hong Kong film directors including Mr Sunny Chan of Table of Six, Ms Judy Chu of Sunshine of My Life, and Mr Jack Ng of A Guilty Conscience (which became the highest-grossing Hong Kong film), reflected on the city’s cinematic success. Mr Ng said: “It is the script that gives confidence to the investors and actors. Without the script, we cannot go anywhere.”
Numerous special events announcing exciting titles
This year’s FILMART again received strong support from major local film and TV companies, organising press conferences as well as on-site booths. Emperor Motion Pictures invited more than 80 movie stars and industry leaders to announce upcoming productions at a press conference, including Under Current, Customs Frontline and New Police Story 2. In addition, PCCW Media Limited's MakerVille and Viu also held a press conference to announce boy band Mirror’s first film WE 12. A large-scale release conference organised by Muse Communications showcased a wide range of Japanese anime, including the big hit Demon Slayer.
FILMART online platforms open until April 15
The online FILMART portal is accessible until April 15, so that users can revisit all the exciting content from EntertainmentPulse and use the direct messaging function offered through the FILMART online platform.