Hong Kong Selects First Projects for Streaming Development Funding

Hong Kong’s Film Development Council has unveiled the first shortlisted projects under its new scheme to develop content for streaming platforms.

The Content Development Scheme for Streaming Platforms was announced last year. It aims to nurture cross-sectoral production teams and expand new distribution market and takes the form of a competition to recruit participating teams that develop a mini-series for streaming platforms. Its first call for tenders was open until June 2023.

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Making the announcement during this week’s FilMart convention, the FDC said that it had shortlisted ten projects. It named them as “Bus Lightyear”; “Champion Turns Up”; “Kowloon Grand Hotel”; “Underworld”; “Today Will Never Return”; “Spirited Away”; “Eyes of Sparrow” “Balikbayan Box Club”; “Once There Were Jackals”; and “Las Mulas” but it divulged no other details such as producer, distributor, project genre or anticipated production budget.

The shortlisted teams enter phase two and will each receive HK$600,000 million to HK$1.2 million ($77,000 – $145,000) as a script development fee for developing a production proposal and full scripts of an entire mini-series.

The next phase will see winning teams selected to enter phase three. These will each receive $4.5 million ($577,000) to produce the first one or first two episodes of a series. Together with the script development fee, each final winning team will be awarded a total of up to $5.7 million ($731,000), which they will likely be required to top-up through commercial deals or investment.

The Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Development Council, Dr Wilfred Wong, said, “This new Scheme launched under the FDF has received enthusiastic responses from the industry. Over 50 eligible applications have been received, which is very encouraging. The 10 selected projects feature diversified themes with content showing creativity and international perspective. I look forward to seeing the full scripts developed by shortlisted teams successfully obtaining support from investors to finance the completion of the entire project, a mini-series, thereby bringing quality streaming content with distinctive Hong Kong elements to audiences from all over the world.”

The city authorities have increased the number of funding schemes to help its film and TV industries adapt to change. It recently added a European component to its international co-production grant system.

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