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Britfilm in Asian Push

UK film companies and industry representatives are to take British films to the Asian market on trade missions to Japan and Hong Kong, supported by the UK Film Council

Six UK film sales companies will travel out to Tokyo with UK Film Council representatives from 13-15 March and will then go on to attend the Hong Kong Filmart 2006 from 20-24 March, alongside representatives from UK film distribution companies, film consultancies and regional development agencies.
The trade missions are part of the work undertaken by the UK Film Council’s International Department to promote the British film industry to developing overseas markets. 
In Tokyo,  British delegates will meet with a number of Japanese distributors, producers and exhibitors with the intention of increasing opportunities for export promotion of UK films, co-productions and business services to Japan.  As well as developing existing relationships, the delegation hopes to develop a broader understanding of the Japanese film industry in order to open the door to new opportunities for the export of British film and mutually beneficial partnerships between UK sales companies and their Japanese counterparts. The UK presence will be based at the Capitol Tokyo Hotel.


UK Film Council research shows that Japan -second largest cinema market in the world- is potentially a growth market for British films. Cinema box office figures are on the increase following a decade of recession, as audiences seek alternatives to the ubiquitous blockbusters.  Currently British film represents just 2.6% of all films released in the country but the change in viewing tastes highlights the huge potential for the UK market share to increase significantly. 

UK Film Council Chief Executive Officer John Woodward will be presenting an overview of the UK film industry to international delegates at the Hong Kong Filmart on Tuesday 21 March. In addition, UK producer/financier and industry consultant Jonathan Olsberg of Olsberg/SPI, also a member of the UK delegation to Hong Kong, will be speaking about co-operation between Europe and Asia at the Hong Kong – Asia film Financing Forum on the same day.
The delegation will use the Japanese trade mission to capitalise on the opportunity to get more British film into Japanese cinemas, but they will also be exploring ways of breaking into the DVD market.  Rental and sales figures for the Japanese DVD market show that foreign film and TV drama is consistently the most popular category among Japanese viewers and is another growth area on which the delegation will focus attention.

The sales companies taking part in the Japanese trade mission are:

  • Beyond Films International.  Features being presented in Japan include Dragnet starring Peter Mullan and Gary Lewis, and Life ‘N’ Lyrics starring Ashley Walters.
  • Hanway Films. Features being sold include Woody Allen’s Scoop (filmed in London), Richard Jobson’s A Woman in Winter and Christopher Smith’s Severance.
  • Hollywood Classics. Films include the classic film libraries of Canal Plus and Carlton International as well as other major studios.  Features presented include Ken Loach’s Black Jack and Derek Jarman’s The Tempest.
  • IAC Holdings. Films include Joy Division starring Ed Stoppard.
  • Icon Entertainment International. Films include Butterfly on a Wheel starring Pierce Brosnan and Gaby Dellal’s On a Clear Day starring Peter Mullan.
  • The Works International. Films being presented include Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantanamo, John Hillcoat’s The Proposition, Roger Michell’s Venus, DominIc Savage’s Love + Hate and Shane Meadows’s forthcoming feature This is England.


FILMART 2006 represents the UK Film Council’s second supported mission to the Hong Kong-based film, TV and multi-media market.
In addition to Beyond, Hanway, Hollywood Classics, IAC, Icon, and The Works the following sales companies are also taking part in FILMART are:

  • Celsius. Representing films directed by Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World), Chuck Russell (The Mask) and Ben Sombogaart (De Tweeling).
  • Highpoint. Films include BBC Films’ Shakespeare Retold series - Mark Brozel’s Macbeth with BAFTA award winning actor James McAvoy and David Nicholl’s Much Ado About Nothing with Billie Piper.
  • Park Entertainment. Films being presented include Bob the Butler starring Tom Green and Brooke Shields, Richard Jobson’s The Purifers, and Samurai Girl based upon the Manga comic character.
  • Peach Arch. Films include Paul Lynch’s The Keeper and Bob Keen’s Heartstopper.