Asia’s highly esteemed international film and TV market will once again take centre stage as the best place to shop for some of the biggest titles off the shelf with special emphasis for the very best of Chinese content. With this historical appraisal, the Hong Kong film market has since been attracting hordes of buyers and sellers to the market.

Last year, there were 780 exhibitors from over 30 countries. Among the 7,100 visitors, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan saw double-digit growth at the market. India’s JDR Films had purchased Arclight Film’s Jungle Nest. Hollywood-based Arclight also reportedly sold TEANA 10,000 Years Later to Hong Kong and Indonesian companies. Another U.S. company, Shoreline Entertainment, clinched its first deal in Asia when it sold The Incident, an acclaimed science fiction thriller, to Japan’s Zazie. China’s Hangzhou clenched several deals at the market selling television programmes valued at a total of over US$5.5 million.

The forums are crowd pullers at the market and this year will see discussion and keynote address from industry experts on topics: In Conversation with producers from around the world, Business opportunities for the global TV industry, How to present ideas in the digital era, How a medium size animation studio can be successful in the global market and Integration and innovation of Asia’s film industry.

The Chinese local content production market is very strong with several reputed firms competing in the market. Lost in Hong Kong overtook its predecessor, Lost in Thailand and became an instant hit in the mainland with an immediate revenue of RMB 1.5 billion. Lost in Thailand had secured revenue of RMB 1.268 billion. In the last 10 years, the mainland film market only witnessed weak performance from Hong Kong funded shows in Shanghai. Since last year, two Hong Kong financed cinemas – Palace IAPM Shanghai and Palace Shanghai topped the charts.

The 14th edition of the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) is set to be held during the market. Organisers received a record number of 350 project submissions this year. Prominent filmmakers are shepherding projects by firsttime directors at HAF. Chang is a producer on Lieutenant Yi, the helming debut of Taiwanese singersongwriter Rene Liu; Niu will be producing From Black and White to Shades of Grey by first directing effort from Huang Zi; and Chinese helmet Hao will be producing Dying to Survive, the first feature from Muye Wen.

Singapore producer Chan Pui Yin who produced the hit I Not Stupid and its sequel will produce Warrior of Love by director Derrick Lui; Kill Bill and 2046 crew member Xu Wen, will make her directorial debut with Golden Whale; Filipino helmer Lav Diaz, whose A Lullaby for the Mystery has been selected for the official competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, will present The Waves Are Gone at HAF; and Hong Kong director Adam Wong returns to HAF with the new project Trains in the Night.

In addition, five documentary projects have been chosen from China, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan and South Korea. Apart from the 28 projects selected by the HAF, three finalists are up for the HAF/Fox Chinese Film Development Award for a $12,900 cash prize and a development contract with Fox. They include Jong Yu’s drama Brothers, Cheung Suk-Yee’s Coarse Tea, Plain Rice and Li Yang’s Man-Made Citizen.