The director of hit dystopian movie Ten Years Jevons Au Man-kit has hit back at Financial Secretary John Tsang’s plans for the local film industry. Speaking to RTHK, he said that – if Hong Kong films are to explore the mainland market – they may lose their local character due to requirements for submittal and review.
His remarks came after Finance Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah revealed his budget plan to subsidise local films’ efforts to enter the mainland market.
Au was also concerned that the government would only subsidise Hong Kong films that are released in the mainland, saying that they should also subsidise local films for their release in Hong Kong.
Director of local film Trivisa, Vicky Wong Wai-kit, praised the plans to support the industry, but said that the procedures and requirements to apply for subsidies were often complex and difficult, reported RTHK.
In his budget announcement on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Tsang said that he would provide HK$20 million to subsidise mainland film distribution, having already injected HK$200 million into the Film Development Fund (FDF) in the previous financial year. The subsidy for each film was increased from HK$250,000 to HK$500,000.
Tsang also announced that a further HK$400 million will be injected into the CreateSmart Initiative, which was established in 2009 to assist the development of creative industries. He said that the funds would contribute towards raising the profile of local designers in Paris and New York fashion shows, and the Art Development Matching Grants Pilot Scheme announced in 2015 will be launched this financial year.