CreateHK launches support schemes for film production to groom local talent

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) today (March 24) launched the second First Feature Film Initiative (FFFI) to continue to identify and nurture prospective talent for the local film industry through a competition focusing on screenplays and production proposals, and to promote the sustainable development of the industry itself.

The Head of CreateHK, Mr Jerry Liu, said, "The FFFI has been effective since its launch in March 2013. The industry generally agrees that the FFFI has given young talents who wish to join the film industry a chance to polish their skills and show their flair, adding energy to the local film industry.

"From this year onwards, the FFFI will no longer be run on a pilot basis. It will be implemented on a longer-term basis with at least one round of competition each year. It will help inject new blood into the local film industry by continuously identifying and grooming young talents with creativity and ability."

Similar to the first FFFI, the second FFFI is divided into a Higher Education Institution Group and a Professionals Group. Each group will offer one prize. The director of each participating team shall not have previously shot any commercial film of 80 minutes or above. The Film Development Fund (FDF) will provide funding for the winning teams to implement their film proposals and make their first commercial feature films.

Mr Liu said that in view of the rising costs of film production and the expected scale of the projects, the level of grant for the winning team for the Higher Education Institution Group will be raised from $2 million to $3.25 million and that for the Professionals Group from $5 million to $5.5 million.

The three winning teams of the first FFFI have already completed film shooting. The winning project in the Professionals Group, "Opus 1" (directed by Cheung King-wai), and the two winning projects in the Higher Education Institution Group, "Weeds on Fire" (directed by Chan Chi-fat) and "Mad World" (directed by Wong Chun), will be ready for theatrical release in late 2015 or early 2016.

The FDF will also roll out a brand new Film Production Grant Scheme (FPGS) to subsidise small-budget film productions with a production budget not exceeding $10 million. A grant at 20 per cent of the production cost, which is capped at $2 million, will be provided for each selected film project. The grant can be used to cover salary costs of local production crew and the cost of shooting and production (including post-production) conducted in Hong Kong.

"The FPGS will accept applications on a quarterly basis. A maximum of three applicants will be selected to receive the grant each time.

"We hope that the FPGS can encourage more commercial investment in small-budget productions, and boost the volume of local film production as a whole. The scheme will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years," Mr Liu said.

The second FFFI is open to applications from today to August 31. For details of the scheme, please visit the website of CreateHK WEBSITE or the website of the Film Development Council WEBSITE. Details on application for the FPGS will be announced later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015