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Speech by Acting Financial Secretary at "Movie, Music and Moments" inaugural fundraising gala dinner of Asian Film Awards Academy (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Acting Financial Secretary, Mr Gregory So, at the "Movie, Music and Moments" inaugural fundraising gala dinner of the Asian Film Awards Academy today (November 3):

Dr Wong (Chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, Dr Wilfred Wong), Mr Shiina (Director General of the Tokyo International Film Festival, Mr Yasushi Shiina), Mr Lee (Director of the Busan International Film Festival, Mr Lee Yong-kwan), ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to be here this evening in a world of movies, music and great friends.

     Originated in Hong Kong, the Asian Film Awards programme has in the past eight years provided a platform for celebrities and professionals of the film industry to celebrate the excellence of Asian cinema. The establishment of the Asian Film Awards Academy last year represents one step further. Drawing on the expertise and networks of the three reputable international film festivals of Hong Kong, Busan and Tokyo, the Academy promotes regional co-operation and cultural exchange by bringing film events to different Asian cities and showcasing the cream of Asian cinema in different cultural terrains. My heartfelt congratulations on the establishment of the Academy and a big thank you to all those involved in this project.

     I understand that the Academy plans to organise professional exchange programmes and master classes to nurture young filmmakers and the audience. I must say that such visionary work deserves praise and support from movie lovers and society at large.

     The Hong Kong Government is a staunch supporter of the local film industry. We spare no efforts in helping the film industry nurture talents, tap new markets and undertake overseas promotion. We set up the Film Development Fund in 1999 to fund worthwhile projects and activities which tie in with the development of our film industry. We have since 2007 expanded the scope of the Fund to provide partial financing for small- to medium-budget film productions with the primary objective of nurturing film talents. Since then, we have committed over HK$300 million under the Fund to co-finance 30 movies and provide funding support for over 100 film-related programmes. We also provide funding support annually to the Hong Kong International Film Festival with the aims of promoting audience development and enhancing film literacy in our city. Looking ahead, the Government will continue to support worthwhile endeavours of the film industry.

     May I close by expressing my heartfelt appreciation for the determined efforts of the Asian Film Awards Academy in the promotion of Asian films and nurturing of talents. I wish the Academy every success. I also thank you all for your generous support to the Academy and wish you all a delightful evening.

     Thank you.

Ends/Monday, November 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:19


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