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Hong Kong Film Archive Records Industry’s Growth

Overseas intellectuals and film production companies are showing great interest in Hong Kong- produced films, according to Angela Tong, head of the Hong Kong Film Archive.

"There are huge prospects for the Hong Kong film industry and there is a certain market for it," said Tong in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"As a middleman between Hong Kong and overseas film makers, we receive more and more inquires from overseas university professors, film makers, and researchers. It is encouraging that people are getting more and more interested in local movies," she said.

"This is just like the sale of clothes. If it is a good bargain with a good price, people both at home and overseas will like it. The support comes from different levels," she said.

"To produce a good film, we need a substantial investment, an interesting script and good actors. This will then attract the overseas market," Tong said.

Tong said she is pleased that a number of big companies are investing in film productions, such as Hong Kong-listed studio China Star Entertainment and Emperor Group.

China Star Entertainment plans to produce about 20 to 30 films on a total budget of HK$200 million (US$ 25.6 million) to HK$300 million (US$38.4 million) this year.

As of December 26 last year, locally produced films recorded a turnover of HK$475.98 million (US$61 million) in the cinemas, representing a year-on-year growth of 24 percent, according to the Motion Picture Industry Association.

Revenue generated by the 133 Hong Kong films shown last year as of December 26 accounted for 47 percent of total box office takings last year.

Industry experts said Hong Kong films were seeing more interest from Hollywood studios following the success of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," a film that was jointly produced by Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland producers and that won four Oscars last year.

The Hong Kong Film Archive, with aim of promoting Hong Kong movies to overseas countries, was set up in January 2001.

"We aim to preserve the culture of Hong Kong films through storing film works and publishing books. To help people in Hong Kong and overseas understand Hong Kong's culture, we have published a journal recording all the films produced locally, from the first one in 1913," Tong said.

(People’s Daily January 14, 2002)

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