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The FDF cannot cover the cost of a low-budget film, says academy of film founder

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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By Isabel Ng, 19 Feb 18

The money that the Film Development Fund (FDF) can offer, in many cases, cannot cover the necessary costs of a low-budget movie project, says Cheuk.

Take Men on the Dragon as an example, even though the FDF had offered nearly HK$4.5 million for the project, the amount was barely sufficient, said Cheuk Pak Tong at an assembly at Shue Yan University today.

Film Development Fund (FDF) is run by the Hong Kong Film Development Council to fund specifically feature drama or animation film intended for commercial theatrical exhibition in Hong Kong with a production budget of not more than HK $25 million.

“To control the production costs, we had to axe some of the scenes and characters,”said Cheuk, adding that sometimes actors even agree to star in the movie for free.

The amount of funding not only dictates the quality of movie production, but is also a determining factor when it comes to attracting talent, said Cheuk.

Cheuk Pak Tong is the Director of Academy of Film, HKBU and a member of the Film Development Council.  Over the years, his articles were published in local and overseas press, journals and thesis such as “Post Script”, Publication of “Hong Kong International Film Festival”, “Film Arts”, “Unitas and Literary Monthly” and “Journal Beijing Film Academy” etc. 

The Film Development Council saw the need to drastically review the current operation of the FDF to find out if it can truly meet the practical needs of the development of the Hong Kong movie industry, said Cheuk.

“As we can tell from overseas examples, a flourishing and mature movie industry will not only bring in huge box-office revenues,”said Cheuk, noting that a profound and far-reaching ripple effect can be generated, in terms of revenues generated from other side businesses.

Apart from providing sufficient funding, the government should also formulate a thorough and comprehensive development strategy for Hong Kong’s movie industry so as to raise both the standard and the competitiveness of the homegrown productions, said Cheuk.

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