New subvention arrangement for Hong Kong International Film Festival Society announced

     Representatives of the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) and the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) today (February 24) briefed members of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) on the new subvention arrangement for the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS). Under the new arrangement, the funding responsibility for the HKIFFS, currently funded through the HKADC, will be taken up by the CEDB starting from April 1, 2009.

     Before the establishment under the CEDB of Create Hong Kong (CreateHK), a new setup dedicated to promoting the development of creative industries, the funding and monitoring of the HKIFFS will be handled by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority under the CEDB during the transitional period.

     ¡§The new arrangement primarily aims to designate film as a cultural creative industry with other creative industries such as television, music, design, architecture, digital entertainment, comics and animation under the one-stop organisation of CreateHK. The arrangement will bring together resources now under different departments and bureaux supporting the development of the film industry.  Furthermore, the arrangement will allow us to more effectively respond to the needs of the sector and provide enhanced support through a one-stop-shop service,¡¨ a CEDB spokesman said.

     As the Government will complete the rationalisation and refinement of the executive structure to support creative industries within the 2009/2010 financial year, there is a need to reflect the change in resource allocation in the 2009/2010 Estimates.

     ¡§The HKADC has been actively working on improvements to the mechanism for monitoring the performance of the HKIFFS since last year, which includes jointly developing an assessment mechanism with the HKIFFS. The mechanism has yet to be finalised and the CEDB will follow up on the outstanding issues,¡¨ an HAB spokesman said.

     At the meeting, government representatives affirmed that the recurrent funding support for the HKIFFS for the organisation of the Hong Kong International Film Festival in the year 2009-2010 will remain at the same level of $10.91 million.  Upon the change in the administrative arrangement, the Government will not scale back the funding support for administrative expenses at the HKADC. As such, no material impact on the HKADC is expected.

     The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited was established in 2004 according to its own memorandum and articles of association.  It is one of the non-profit organisations supported by the HAB through the HKADC.  Prior to 2004, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Office was under the structure of the former Urban Services Department.  It came under the Film Programmes Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department when the latter was established in 2000.  

     Since its establishment, the HKIFFS has been responsible for organising the annual Hong Kong International Film Festival.  In 2008, 286 local and international films were screened attracting over 134,000 people.  Sponsored by the CEDB, the HKIFFS has been organising the Asian Film Awards and the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum as part of the festival since 2007.

Ends/Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:25