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SFST's opening remarks at Hong Kong Film Night of Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium (English only) (with photo)
     Following are the opening remarks by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, at the Hong Kong Film Night of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday (April 14, Brussels time):
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good evening, and welcome to this reception.
     BIFFF is well-known not only as the most popular film festival in Brussels, but also one of the world's top three fantastic film festivals. I am really pleased to join BIFFF for the first time. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank BIFFF for bringing many Hong Kong thrillers, fantasy and action movies to audiences in Europe over the years. I am sure BIFFF will continue to scale new heights in the years ahead.
     Brussels is the first city I visit for my tour in Europe this time. As the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, the main purpose of my tour, with no doubt, is to promote Hong Kong's latest developments in financial services and its role as an international financial centre.
     Financial services seems far away from films. But let me tell you, it is not the case. Movie production cannot be materialised without funding, and Hong Kong plays an important role as Asia's most significant financing platform for business, including films. The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, which connects filmmakers, investors, producers and distributors, selected 43 film projects from 38 different countries and regions to support this year, covering a variety of genres including horror, fantasy, suspense, drama and animation.
     You may also wish to note that one of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government's priorities is to develop Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange and we are strongly supportive of our creative industries. And I assure you that we do invest a lot in creative industries and cultural initiatives, and the film industry has never been missed. We see the emergence of a new generation of Hong Kong film talents, and recognise the need to help and promote our film industry, in particular small and medium-sized productions and first films. We injected HK$1 billion, equivalent to around EUR120 million, into the Film Development Fund in 2019 to promote further development of the local film industry. The Fund not only supports the production of movies, some of which have also been screened in BIFFF, but also supports Hong Kong films participating in international film festivals like BIFFF.
     New technologies will no doubt facilitate the innovative production of films. The HKSAR Government is committed to developing Hong Kong into a global innovation and technology (I&T) centre. Among different advancements in I&T, the latest trends in animation and digital effects were discussed at the recent Hong Kong International Film & TV Market, FILMART, and there was much talk about how innovations like Web3 will be used in films. I am sure these new technologies will contribute to the production of many fantastic films, and some of them may be screened in BIFFF in the future.
     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong is once again buzzing with excitement and activity. We welcome international tourists and business visitors and are hosting a series of major events, in addition to our usual attractions like great museums, food, country parks and shopping. So don't hesitate to come and discover our vibrant city for yourselves.
     Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to the passionate founders of the Festival who are still very much involved today, and to the hard work of their collaborators and the group of enthusiastic volunteers. I wish the Festival every success, and I wish you all a good evening.
     Thank you very much.
Ends/Saturday, April 15, 2023
Issued at HKT 8:45
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The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, yesterday (April 14, Brussels time) gave a welcoming remarks at the cocktail reception of the Hong Kong Film Night of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium.