By M&C Movie News
Mar 4, 2007, 0:53 GMT

HONG KONG, SAR (M&C) – The most proactive, film friendly government in Asia, the Hong Kong, China government February 28, announced the creation of a new pool of financial aid for the territory’s movie industry.

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Henry Tang in his annual budget address to the Legislative Council, announced a $38.5 million package to help what he described as a “major creative sector.” Creation of a state fund to help the production sector was one of the recommendations made recently by the territory’s Film Development Committee.

“One of its recommendations is the establishment of a new fund to help finance film production and overcome the shortage of talent,” Tang said. “I have earmarked $300 million for this purpose. The Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology will consult the Film Development Council, which will shortly be established, on the detailed operation of the fund.”

Back in 1999 the HK Government came up with $10 million, part of which was used for the first Asian Film Financing Forum which brought together, for the first time, film makers, financiers and others from around Asia. The FFF can be credited with the subsequent pan-Asian development of film projects and interest in Asian film at the international level.

“I hope this is the beginning of a series of strong initiatives and a determined effort by the government to grow the film industry in Hong Kong,” producer and leading lobbyist Nansun Shi said. “Achieving an industry turnaround will take much more than this from both the government and from the industry itself.”

In recent years, Hong Kong film production has slacked off as more attention has been paid to making films on the Chinese mainland.