Published: 16:04, May 17, 2024 | Updated: 16:11, May 17, 2024
HK, France ink pact on film, TV cooperation at Cannes
By Wang Zhan in Hong Kong
Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung (center) attends the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on film and television cooperation between Create Hong Kong, represented by the Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Joe Wong (left), and the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée of France during the Cannes Film Festival in France, May 16, 2024. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Hong Kong and France’s Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding on film and television cooperation during the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

The MOU marks closer ties between Hong Kong and France, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said, adding that it provides a framework to facilitate collaboration and exchange in the area of film and television, strengthening connections and deepening mutual understanding.

“The MOU will start a new chapter in co-production films, film and television talent, and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and France,” said Yeung, who led a Hong Kong film industry delegation to the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

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The secretary was also the officiating guest at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Cannes Film Market on Wednesday.

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung (center) officiates at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Cannes Film Market during the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France, May 15, 2024. The Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Joe Wong (second left), and Assistant Head of Create Hong Kong Gary Mak (first right) also attended the event. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

During the festival, he attended thematic seminars, a midnight screening of a Hong Kong film Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In, the Hong Kong Night reception, and China’s New Talents Going Global Night, besides engaging in meetings and exchanges with members of the film industry from all over the world.

In speeches delivered at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion and the Hong Kong Night reception, Yeung mentioned the special administrative region government’s staunch support for the city’s film industry.

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung (center), Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Joe Wong (third right), and Assistant Head of Create Hong Kong Gary Mak (second left) attend the Hong Kong Night reception on May 16, 2024, during the Cannes Film Festival in France. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

In addition to injecting about HK$3 billion into the Film Development Fund since 2005, the government is also strengthening the local industry’s participation in international film festivals, which has increased the exposure of Hong Kong cinema, he said.

“By leading delegations of some of the most exceptional and emerging directors, producers, and actors from Hong Kong, like those attending here tonight, we hope to increase the exposure of Hong Kong cinema in a proactive approach, fostering more cultural exchanges among film talents across national borders and various cultures.”

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung (fifth right); Permanent Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Joe Wong (fifth left); Assistant Head of Create Hong Kong Gary Mak (second left), and the crew of the Hong Kong film "Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In" pose for a photo during the Hong Kong Night reception at Cannes, France on May 16, 2024. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

Yeung also talked about the launch of the Hong Kong-Europe-Asian Film Collaboration Funding Scheme, which aims to bolster Hong Kong’s status as an East-meets-West center for international cultural exchange.

“Most important of all, we are thrilled to see many Chinese language films selected in Cannes this year,” he added.