HONG KONG, March 20 (Xinhua) -- An increasing number of filmmakers from countries along the Belt and Road are seeking business opportunities at the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), the event's organizer said on Tuesday.
The FILMART, in its 22nd edition this year, has attracted over 850 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions, and over 360 of them are from countries along the Belt and Road, representing a 10-percent increase from last year, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) told Xinhua.
Many of these exhibitors at the FILMART said they regard Hong Kong as a "gateway" to markets between the Chinese mainland and the rest of Asia, as well as between Asia and the rest of the world.
"It's important to be here especially for people who do sales and acquisition in Asia, because in Hong Kong you get to see and know all the content that is made and being distributed in Asia," Anna Pokorskaya of Russian animation studio Wizart said. "Definitely Hong Kong is a gateway."
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
At the pavilion of the Philippine Film Export Service Office, which includes 25 Philippine exhibitors, the office's executive director Don Gervin Arawan told Xinhua that Philippine companies have been participating in the FILMART for years, and besides promoting Philippine films, the Philippine exhibitors also want to have Chinese film products in their country.
"Hong Kong is a mixture. It's where the Chinese mainland and other Asian countries meet the world. And the language barrier is lower here," he said.
Keven Lo, official representative of Thailand company JKN Global Media, said his company used to purchase content at the FILMART as a visitor for years, but this year as an exhibitor "we are actually purchaser, distributor and seller of content."
Lo said his company is expanding its original focus from market inside Thailand to other countries in Southeast Asia and "Hong Kong, recognized for its internationally-based clientele, is actually a good base to present for the first time into the international market."