Film Brits Back in Hong Kong
On July 1, 1997, after 156 years of colonial rule, the British handed Hong Kong back to the Chinese Government. No one expected us to return. Now we have and in some strength to trade in films.
The UK Film Council 30 person strong delegation to the Hong Kong Filmart, is scouting Asian film product for UK distribution, hawk British films and seek out suitable co-production projects to film in the UK. And business is apparently booming
RAISING THE PROFILE
As the lead agency for film in the UK, the Film Council aims to stimulate a competitive, successful and vibrant UK film industry and culture. Additionally, the UK Film Council helps to promote Britain as a filmmaking location and to raise the profile of British films abroad.
“Essentially we are here at Filmart to give 16 partner companies an opportunity to see first hand the burgeoning Asian market,” said Sarah McKenzie, senior executive export development international for the UK Film Council.
“Asia has established film industries and the Hong Kong Filmart, now in its tenth year offers a good venue for our participating companies. We are giving them the opportunity to experience the market and if successful add it to their annual calendar,” added McKenzie.
The delegation in Hong Kong includes six companies that the Film Council first took to Japan to get a better feel for what was happening in that film market.
Commenting on the visit to Japan, McKenzie said, “I think we have truly formed a close partnership between the Japanese and UK film industries."
One of the reasons for the present push into Asia comes from positive indicators on the economic impact of the UK screen industries conducted in 2004 with findings recently released.
WHAT'S A FILM WORTH?
The study by Cambridge Econometrics and Optima found:
- For every pound invested in the film industry, the UK economy expanded by between £1.60 and £2.50
- Film has made a positive contribution to the UK balance of payments every year from 1995 to 2003.
- Film location shoots amounted to 260 million pounds in 2002 with the main cost areas being crew and other technical staff.
- The film industry has a profit margin of 21% on the basis of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.