17 March 2010
Hong Kong Film Coming Back to Life: John Chong
“Infernal Affairs” Producer Speaks in Advance of Entertainment Expo
17 March 2010 – Influential Hong Kong film producer John Chong, who was behind the blockbuster Infernal Affairs, says the city’s movie industry is reviving, but local film-makers must continue to aim for productions that are true to their own vision.
Mr Chong said he sees the Hong Kong film industry “coming back to life” but worries about a lack of younger talent to follow in the footsteps of longstanding directors and producers. He also encouraged his colleagues to be more responsive to the market to ensure the industry’s survival.
“Once it does that, it can survive,” Mr Chong said. “This industry will then attract new blood, and after training and development they will gain the know-how and talent and become part of the industry.”
Mr Chong made his remarks in an interview with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) prior to next week’s Entertainment Expo. Mr Chung is Executive Director of MediaAsia, one of several major Hong Kong film companies taking part in the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART), a component event of Entertainment Expo and one of the world’s top three events of its kind in terms of exhibitor numbers.
Hong Kong Affairs
In the 25 February interview for the HKTDC’s webcast service, Mr Chong also criticised those who “believe that for a movie to make it at the box office it must follow the Hollywood format.”
“Another school of thought believes we should produce movies that we think are good. And they say the sort of film we would like to watch – and which our audience wants to see – can go further in the outside market. After many years, the latter approach is proving more successful,” he said, pointing to the example of Infernal Affairs. The movie was remade into The Departed, which went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese.
“I think we have to stand by our uniqueness. We should maintain our flexibility, and not allow any one business model to awkwardly rule the industry,” added Mr Chong.
FILMART is one of nine events that make up Entertainment Expo, the region’s leading entertainment industry event, which runs from 22 March to 18 April. More than 540 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions will be coming to FILMART, being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 22-25 March. FILMART is organised by the HKTDC and features more than 250 film screenings and 60 seminars and networking sessions.
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About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, www.hktdc.com