HONG KONG: Asia’s Largest Film Market in the Midst of Media Turmoil

LAUREN CHEN WRITES – Hong Kongers mourn yet another shameless assault on two media executives just as the Hong Kong Film and Television Market (FILMART) and the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) kick off.

Business executives from over 760 companies and 30 countries gathered to attend FILMART, Asia’s largest film market, which promotes Hong Kong as the gateway to Chinese film industry. Further, the Hollywood Reporter says it’s one of the world’s top three film markets and provides invaluable access into one of Asia’s largest film sectors.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), one of Asia’s highly-regarded film festivals, is Hong Kong’s largest cultural event focused on unearthing new talent. This year’s festival has a renewed emphasis on local films, while also broadening global interest and international variety.

The festival will include tributes to mainland icon Jiang Wen, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, and French actress Isabelle Huppert.

This year, HKIFF will spotlight a series of films and TV shows funded by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency in the local film scene. The world premier screening of Adam Wong’s ICAC Investigators 2014–Better Tomorrow will highlight a university graduate’s passion for investigative work and fight against corruption.

While all eyes are on the HKIFF and FILMART, hopefully people will not forget about “the deepening shadows being cast over the media landscape in Hong Kong from violence, intimidation and interference by political and commercial interests” that the Foreign Correspondents’ Club warns about.

The latest victims were assaulted with metal bars and identified as Lam Kin-ming, 54, and Lei Lun-han, 46, executives of The Hong Kong Morning News.

While it is exciting and more enjoyable to focus on entertainment development, perhaps Hong Kong might take a moment to shift its gaze to ensuring media freedom and safety.

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