Entertainment world prepares for Hong Kong's annual Expo

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The Independent Culture

With activities lasting almost a month - and with 10 core events covering the worlds of cinema, television, digital entertainment and music - Hong Kong's annual Entertainment Expo not only bills itself as the region's largest such gathering but as the one event which opens the door the Asian entertainment industry.

EE ( http://www.eexpohk.com) this year runs from March 21- April 17 at various venues across the city and has two major film industry events kicking things off.

The 5th Asian Film Awards - which bills itself now as "Asia's Oscars" - will provide the glamour at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 21. And the 15th Hong Kong International Film and Television Market from March 21-24 will provide the business that makes all the glamour possible.

More than 5,000 industry representatives from around the world attended Filmart last year and once again the event revolves around seminars, networking sessions and forums whereby producers are able to meet Asia's up-and-coming filmmakers.

That's one of the reasons why America's attendees are for the first time this year gathering their forces under the one pavilion as that nation looks to the rise in international box office returns - and in production numbers in China, specifically, which has the fastest-growing film market in the world.

"Hong Kong by its very position has long been seen as a gateway to Asia and, increasingly, as a place where you can make the connections you need to do business in China," said Jonathan Wolf, whose Independent Film and Television Alliance is helping co-ordinate the American contribution in Hong Kong this year. "We are increasing our presence this year because we want people to know how important China and Asia is in terms of the growth of film and the entertainment world."

Other major film events taken under the EE umbrella are the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 20-April 5) and the Hong Kong Film Awards (April 17), while the region's music industry gets a look in at the Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival (March 23).

Advances in modern technology will meanwhile be the focus of the Digital Effect Summit, which runs concurrently with Filmart.

Entertainment Expo
March 21-April 17
Various venues, Hong Kong