Inaugural Issue: July 2009

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Foreword by Professor Roland Chin
   
Foreword by Professor Deborah Davis
   
Forfeiture of Crime Tainted Property in
Hong Kong
   
Fair Competition under Laissez-Faireism:
Policy Options for
Hong Kong
   
Policies for a Sustainable Development of Hong Kong Film Industry
   
The Effect of Medium-of-Instruction Policy on Educational Advancement in HKSAR Society
   
Horizontal Equity in Health Care Utilization in Hong Kong
   
Siting Locally Unwanted Land Uses:
In your Backyard or in mine?
   
Innovative Planning Tools in Hong Kong
   


Topic
Hong Kong is a regional media capital long known for the production of both films and television programs, but its film industry has been declining in the last fifteen years, with production output plummeting from a peak of 242 films in 1992 to 55 in 2005. The gravity of the situation has led the authors to embark on this project which aims to identify ways to revive Hong Kong's film industry and map out the path to sustainable development.

Methods Used
Case studies of film commissions in South Korea and UK;
   
in-depth interviews with movie practitioners, experts and government officials in Hong Kong, China and South Korea;
   
analysis of archival materials and related reports

Summary of Findings
The decline of the Hong Kong movie industry is attributable to factors such as reckless production, exodus of talents, rampant piracy, dwindling of traditional markets, and the strong competition posed by Hollywood movies. It is also found that the government can play an important role in launching and strengthening a film industry such as in the cases of South Korea and UK. Mainland China promises to be a market that can be exploited for the rejuvenation and expansion of the Hong Kong film industry.

Policy Implications and Recommendations
Mainland China is a proven market for Hong Kong movies. Measures should be taken to ensure that the CEPA scheme is faithfully enforced.
   
The Hong Kong movie industry should produce movies of different scope, aiming mainly at the Cantonese-speaking Pearl River Delta region, Greater China, and East Asia generally.
   
The HKSAR Government can help Hong Kong film industry expand into the regional markets and global markets by requiring the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the government's overseas offices to promote Hong Kong movies and generate overseas market reports, with the Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC) serving as the driving force.
   
To overcome the shortage of creative and well-trained movie personnel, it is essential for the HKSAR Government to establish a film academy that focuses on the key areas of scriptwriting, directing and producing. No city cinema can prosper without a good film school.
The SAR Government should expand the functions of HKFDC up to the level of the film commissions in South Korea and the UK.
   
In HKFDC's funding movie productions, emphasis should be placed on small-budget and medium-budget films in order to enable young talents to experiment with ideas and storytelling skills.
   
To correct the traditional tendency to undervalue the importance of scripts, the HKFDC can commission script writing from individuals through a review process.
   
It is imperative for the Hong Kong movie industry to produce quality films which as a rule are based on attractive scripts and good storytelling techniques.
   
It would be to the benefit of the film industries of both Hong Kong and Mainland China for their Governments to take strong action to root out piracy.

Time is not on the side of the Hong Kong movie industry. It is particularly important for the HKSAR Government to lead the way in demonstrating focused commitment and a heightened passion for an industry that forms a critical part of the city's economy and culture.

Selected Publications Related to the Study
Chan, Joseph, Anthony Fung and Ng Chun Hung (forthcoming – 2009). Policies for a Sustainable Development of Hong Kong Film Industry. Research Monograph. Hong Kong: Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Fung, Anthony and Joseph Chan (2009 – forthcoming). Towards a Global Blockbuster: The Political Economy of Nationalism of Hero. In Gary D. Rawnsley, Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley, and Julian Stringer (eds.), Global Chinese Cinema. London: Routledge.



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