The 22nd edition of FILMART (Hong Kong International Film &TV Market), held in Hong Kong March 19th–22nd, welcomed close to 800 companies from over 35 countries. The number of participants keeps growing annually, and this year surpassed the 900 mark, including industry professionals from the USA, UK, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, India, and Vietnam.

The highlight of FILMART was the 16th Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) held between March 19th and 21st, which allowed financiers, producers, investors, and distributors to discuss opportunities for future cooperation. Out of 360 projects submitted by over 40 countries (Hong Kong, Australia, China, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, the USA, and Vietnam, to name a few), 25 were selected for the main program. Representing Russia for the first time were "Far Frontiers" (dir. Maksim Dashkin) and "Revnost" (dir. Nigina Sayfullaeva).

Another event hosted by the forum was «Work in Progress» (WIP Lab), a film lab meant to develop projects currently in production. Among the ten titles in the lab's lineup three came from Russia: "The Little One" (dir. Sergei Dvortsevoy); "The Pencil" (dir. Natalya Nazarova); and the Russian-French-Estonian coproduction "The Man Who Surprised Everyone" (dir. Natalya Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov).

Following last year's success, FILMART dedicated an entire pavilion, Hong Kong Animation & Digital Entertainment, to digital entertainment as 36 international companies were grouped in three thematically-structured zones: Digital Effects, Animation, and Interactive Decision. In each zone, the companies showcased their recent achievements in digital production, special effects, post-production, mobile apps, games, multimedia design, and VR experiences. Documentaries from 200 producers from 28 countries comprised the DOC World section of FILMART, while a conference entitled "Documentary Filmmaking: From Local to Global" asked its participants to address the imminent challenges, changes, and prospects of the market.

The International TV World 2018 Forum was held for the 12th time. With " Television and new media: Competitors? Or complement each other?" announced as its theme, this year's edition gathered over 300 exhibitors, who exchanged their views on what challenges the TV industry faces in the Internet era and what opportunities the latter affords the former.

The Film-Commission Forum, displaying stands from national agencies and commissions that facilitate film shoots in various cities and countries, held its inaugural meeting this year.

All the latest offerings from Russia, both live-action and animated, along with all the necessary information about Russian filmmaking, were presented at the ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide stand (Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, №1С – Е26), organized by ROSKINO for the fourth time in a row with the generous support from the Russian Ministry of Culture and PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, joined this year by The Government of Moscow.

Backed by the Moscow Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development and Moscow Department of Culture, ROSKINO presented in Hong Kong the Moscow Film Commission aimed at supporting Russian and international film- and TV production companies interested in shooting in Moscow. Services offered by the Film Commission include solving organizational, administrative, and production-related issues; assisting in location scouting; and obtaining necessary permits for restricted-access locations.

Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO CEO:

"It is the Moscow Film Commission's second trip to Hong Kong. Last year we, basically, announced the project, while this year's we're presenting the fruit of our large-scale and meticulous labor undertaken over the past 12 months: fragments from "Moscow in Motion," a joint project of ROSKINO and Anton Lange showing off both iconic and obscure locations to be found in the city; a comprehensive list of Moscow-based production companies; a database of English-speaking Russian actors and their respective agencies; a database of companies offering the best value on professional equipment rentals; and a unique set of bylaws, developed by the Transportation Department, on shooting on the city streets, highways, and locations that are normally hard to access. Our representatives will have plenty of meetings with producers and location managers from Asia in order to prove to them the advantages of filming in Moscow––one of the world's most beautiful metropolises."

RUSSIAN FILMS AT ROSKINO – Russian Cinema Worldwide at FILMART

The "Rikki" Group of Companies brought to FILMART three animated features: family/adventure "Kikoriki: Déjà Vu" (dir. Denis Chernov), which comes out in Russia on Apr 26th, 2018; comedy "Our Friend Finnik" (dir. Denis Chernov), currently in pre-production; and adventure/comedy "Toy Store" (dir. Denis Chernov) slated for a Fall 2019 release domestically.

Diana Yurinova, International Development VP at "Rikki":

"We're happy to announce that the Hong Kong film market is hosting the Asian premiere of the third installment of our Kikoriki franchise, the adventure comedy "Kikoriki: Déjà Vu." It's the first time the movie will screen in its entirety in Asia. The screening will be attended by distributors from China and Hong Kong. We have high hopes for our Chinese partners, because the Kikoriki brand has established itself in their country since 2010: it's been on local TV, and has amassed millions of view on Internet platforms and in online theaters. We are currently negotiating theatrical distribution deals with China, Hong Kong, and Macao."

Wizart presented at FILMART its animated features "The Snow Queen: Mirror Lands" (dir. Aleksey Tsitsilin, Robert Lens) and "Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal" (dir. Vladimir Nikolaev), as well as the 26-episode TV-series "Snow Stories" (dir. Aleksey Zamyslov). Wizart representatives held a series of meetings with distributors from China, India, and other major players in the Asian market.

"Planeta Inform" promoted its drama "The Unforgiven" (dir. Sarik Andreasyan), horror "Deadly Still" (dir. Anton Zenkovich), and comedy "I Am Losing Weight" (dir. Aleksey Nuzhny).

Anastasia Bankovskaya, Head of International Sales:

"We screened the full version of "The Unforgiven" and "Deadly Still" to Asian buyers, and both have already received offers from China, which we are now negotiating. Also, we are for the first time selling the top-grossing Russian comedy "I Am Losing Weight" (including the remake rights!). We believe that this honest reflection of young people's false values shared all over the world has huge international appeal. The Hong Kong market is an important launching pad for us, because it is here that we can meet with our Asian partners old and new, and pay close attention to the region on the whole, as well as finalize the deals initiated at Berlinale."

Art Pictures Studio, co-run by Fyodor Bondarchuk and Dmitry Rudovskiy, presented at the market its two comedies, "Rating" (dir. Aleksandr Chernov) and "Anyone But Them" (dir. Aleksandr Boykov and Maksim Rybakov).

Mars Media's hottest tickets at the Hong Kong market were the war-themed adventure/action «Т-34» (dir. Aleksey Sidorov) and mystery/romance "The Perfect Ones" (dir. Kirill Pletnev).