The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART) closed its 20th edition this year from 14-17 March. The fourday event was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with a record 800 companies from 35 countries and regions in attendance. More than 7,300 buyers were welcomed this year- raking in a 3% increment over last year’s.

This year saw the largest participation from Mainland Chinese exhibitors from different provinces and cities; double-digit growth recorded from India, Korea and Vietnam; and regional pavilions hailing from the Middle East, Cambodia and Macau.

During the FILMART, Malaysia’s Animasia Studio inked a deal with Mainland’s Zero One Animation to co-produce the 3D CGI film Chuck Chicken (also known as Kungfu Chicken). The film is slated for release in early 2018 and has a budget of US$8 million.

Building a Blockbuster Franchise: IP, Brands, Story and Audience

The 20th edition also saw more than 70 events held- including seminars, press conferences and networking activities. During the ‘Building a Blockbuster Franchise: IP, Brands, Story and Audience’ seminar, veteran filmmakers shared their experiences in boosting box-office revenue through IP development.

Founder and President of Donwa Pictures, Shan Dongbing; and producer Nansun Shi pointed out that the market is increasingly interested in franchising with more companies producing franchised movies and developing peripheral products, but it may still be a while before the movie franchising trend fully catches on in the Chinese Mainland.

David Uslan, producer of the U.S. hit animation series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch says, “Movie franchises succeed not just by selling products and making a series of related films but also the creativity of the screenwriters, actors and directors and the life they give to the characters that keeps it alive.”