Variety (US), February 21, 2012
Keanu Reeves to deliver masterclass in Hong Kong
Filmart attracts 640 exhibitors from 30 countries
by Clifford Coonan
BEIJING -- Organizers are gearing up for a record number of exhibitors at Filmart, the Hong Kong Film and Television Market, while Keanu Reeves will give a master class on digital film at the Hong Kong Film Festival, which runs concurrently.
The March 19 to 22 event is likely to attract considerable interest after mainland China, which is strongly linked with the Hong Kong biz, agreed to increase market access for U.S. movies earlier this week. This resolves an outstanding trade dispute, prompting hopes of a boom in Hollywood-China relations.
Filmart will feature some 640 exhibitors from nearly 30 countries at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
The U.S.' Independent Film and TV Alliance will present a variety of companies in the U.S. pavilion.
For the first time there will be pavilions for exhibitors from Turkey and Mexico, while other pavilions will house Gaul's Unifrance and Ile de France; Film Export U.K.; South Korea's Kofic and Kocca; Japan's promo org Unijapan, the Okinawa Film Office, Hokkaido Contents Distribution and Jetro.
Filmart will also host pavilions for Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
"Filmart is Asia's premier film industry event and one of the world's top three film markets in terms of exhibitor numbers. Together with other events under the expo, we look forward to showcasing the biggest annual entertainment event to the world," said Hong Kong Trade Development Council assistant executive director Raymond Yip.
There will also be seminars and conferences looking at new media and online distribution, screenwriting for the global market, and others.
Reeves will be guest of honor at the Jockey Club Cine Academy Master Class on March 18, presenting "Side by Side," a documentary produced by and featuring Reeves interviewing filmmakers including George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron about the development of digital cinema technology.
"A talent of his international stature at the Master Class is a real encouragement to our young people to develop their interest in film and film culture," said fest exec Roger Garcia.
The event will be moderated by filmmaker and art connoisseur Yonfan, who is involved in digital restoration of his own films.
The events come under the umbrella of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, which will feature nine events covering film, TV, digital entertainment and music.
Also included are the Asian Film Awards, the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum, the Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival, the IFPI Hong Kong Sales Music Award, the Incubator for Film & Visual Media in Asia and the Digital Visual Effects Summit.