- Hong Kong International Film Festival
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is an annual event first held in
The 30th Hong Kong International Film Festival was held from
April 4to April 19 2006.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of Asia’s most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new works and experience outstanding cinema. Established in 1977, the 16-day event showcases over 200 new films and several retrospective programmes.
Challenges of Privitization
Previously operated by Urban Council and Leisure and Cultural Services Department from 1977 to 2001, and Hong Kong Arts Development Council from 2001 to 2004 respectively, HKIFF is officially corporatized as an independent, charitable organization – Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited after completing its 28th edition. The Hong Kong Government has continued to subsidize the festival through venue provision and funding for up to 7 million Hong Kong dollars.
The interests of the sponsors have played into the programming, changing the marketing and packaging of films. Using Hong Kong’s premiere actor Andy Lau as the festival spokesman was one of those adaptations. The committee also has to accommodate sponsors who favor films that provide red carpet opportunities, bringing in film stars to publicize their brands. While this may influence the festival to include films that are more "popular," the festival continues to showcase challenging and esoteric works.
The festival now has to spend more time working on branding, public relations and media placement, but film festivals worldwide are facing this problem. If the festival chooses to be only a highbrow high culture event, it would not be able to survive.
Source Percentage HKADC 32% LCSD 18% Commercial sponsors 30% Ticket sales 20%
(Figures are approximate)
The operational cost, budget and scale have increased in the last two years. The HKADC subsidizes $7 million in seasonal intervals, making up 32% of the total funding. Over 30% comes from commercial sponsorship, 20% from ticket sales and the rest from the LCSD. The LCSD subsidizes the HKIFF indirectly by providing screening or event venues for free or at a reduced price, rather than cutting a check to the HKIFF.
Dodging Chinese Censorship
In 2002 or 2003, a legitimate film in the HKIFF program was retracted because a banned film was shown alongside it. Filmmakers worried that being in the league of banned films might offend the authorities. But it was the country title of “China” printed in the program notes that the Chinese Government had contested, not the film itself.
In the mainland, a film that has not received documentation is unauthorized, and therefore does not officially exist. Labeling such a film as “from China” offends the Chinese Government.
When the HKIFF ran these films, the Chinese government would retract them. They would blame it on the improper procedures taken by HKIFF but say nothing of the film content. The HKIFF has found a way to go around this.
Unauthorized films can still be part of the HKIFF program, thanks to creative classification. Since the 2003 incident, the HKIFF no longer classified Chinese language films by their countries of origin. They began to label mainland Chinese films “Putonghua”, Taiwanese films “Mandarin” and Singaporean films “Mandarin” They have had no trouble since.
Cinema of Hong Kong
Hong Kong Film Awards
Asian Film Awards.
* [http://www.hkiff.org.hk/ Official Website]
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