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HK council approves money for 2 films
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The Hong Kong Film Development Council has given the green light for two small-to-medium film projects to be funded out of government budget, the government branch and industry development council said Wednesday.

Finance from the Film Development Fund (FDF) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government would cover a third of the production costs of animation film "McDull Wudang", which has a budget of 12 million HK dollars (1.54 million U.S. dollars), and feature film "Claustrophobia," which has a budget of 5.4 million HK dollars (0.69 million U.S. dollars), according to a government press release.

Wilfred Wong, convenor of the council's fund vetting committee, said the two film projects receiving government funding were of different types.

"It clearly demonstrates that the FDF Scheme covers different film categories and production scales to meet various needs of the local film market," he said.

Wong said the council was processing other applications it had received.

Hong Kong has been one of the film producing centers beyond Hollywood over the past decades but is facing growing competition from neighboring film centers.

The Hong Kong Film Development Council, a branch of the HKSAR government, has been promoting the Film Development Fund scheme in an effort to vitalize the local film industry.

"We look forward to receiving and approving more film projects of different types, and to assisting in revitalizing and developing the Hong Kong film industry," Wong said.

Applications for film production funding are routinely assessed by the council's fund vetting committee with help from experts drawn from a panel of examiners.

The examiners would assess the feasibility and marketability of the film projects, and provide their assessments for consideration by the committee, Wong said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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