March is a big month for movies/films, with international and local film events. In Hong Kong, two film-related events impact Hong Kong movies. These events include Filmart and the Hong Kong film festival.
These events are crucial to filmmakers in Asia. The Filmart event provides an opportunity for film projects to be purchased by well-known movie companies. The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival is an event to appreciate and award Asian, Hong Kong movies and Chinese film culture.
Hong Kong cinema is a growing industry with much to offer viewers. The industry is famous for producing stars like Jackie Chan and Bruce lee. However, there are filmmakers all over Asia that dream of being nominated for the film festival.
However, making a film and getting nominated isn’t easy- it involves significant planning. Therefore this article will help amateur filmmakers outline the process of possibly being nominated for the next Hong Kong Film Festival. Additionally, how to avoid unwanted risks along the way.
Steps to get a Movie Nominated by The Hong Kong Film Festival
1. Brainstorm Projects
Firstly, to get nominated by the Hong Kong Film Festival, you need to brainstorm ideas. Filmmakers must list various ideas that stand out from the current market. In this stage, filmmakers must understand what kind of film they can make – a feature film or a short film.
Narrowing down one category of the movie will help come up with focused ideas. The ideas should be doable financially, unique and reach an appropriate target market. Additionally, it is important to look at current and previous year’s nominations to understand what movies are typically nominated and appreciated.
Each idea should be researched, examined, and noted down. This will make choosing the final idea for the next step easier.
2. Decide On Something Unique
The most important step is to finalise and narrow down one idea. Deciding on the final idea can either make or break the chance of being nominated at any Hong Kong international film festival. The final idea must be unique and fill a market gap like no other film project has.
During this stage, filmmakers and the team must decide on a direction they want to go with a script and storyboard. The Hong Kong movie should have a specific target market and be able to be budgeted for. For example, an action movie may be out of the budget and typically not the type of movie to be nominated at the film festival.
The idea must clearly stand out from other ideas and be able to impress the Hong Kong Film Festival (HKIFF) Society in the future.
3. Set Budget
Consequently, after finalising the idea, it is time to understand how much it will cost to be the best and how much the filmmaker and team can afford. As a filmmaker, you do not want the budget to ruin the vision and the chance of being nominated by the Hong Kong Film Festival.
Many filmmakers involve film investors to make the budget easier and allow the vision to flow (depending on the film’s size). However, when choosing investors, they must understand your project and concept.
The budget must include equipment, site hire, staff, cast, editing software, etc. It is a long process, from shooting to editing, and each stage needs a specific budget. However, as filmmakers, it is essential to be ready to compromise, as not all scenes may be able to be budgeted.
4. Purchase and Rent Appropriate Equipment
The audience expects high-quality sound and lighting. One can’t shoot a movie without the right equipment, especially a successful film. Each project needs an appropriate film camera, light, sound equipment, and post-filming gear.
Even movies shot on iPhone need assisting equipment to reach successful standards. Therefore, there should be a detailed list of the required equipment and its purpose.
Purchasing high-quality filming equipment can be expensive and stressful for a new filmmaker. Fortunately, filmmakers can rent the equipment. However, the rented equipment must still provide high-quality results. The more complex the movie, the more equipment is needed.
5. Hire Creative Staff & Cast
Now you have the idea, investor(s), and equipment; it’s time to hire staff and actors. The team should be able to operate the equipment, and actors should be able to present the vision on screen. Unfortunately, when the budget is tight, you may be unable to hire the most experienced staff. But this doesn’t mean you can’t hire great members for the creative project.
For instance, the staff should include at least a cameraman, sound & lighting crew, actors and editing staff. The film crew and actors should be the best fit for the project to create the finest film possible. You will be nominated as a team when you get selected for the Hong Kong film festival.
6. Purchase Film Insurance
No matter how small or big your movie project is – you need film insurance. Film insurance protects the production company or individual from any possible liabilities during filming. The policy will cover staff & cast injuries, equipment damage, errors and omission claims, and third-party damage.
Accordingly, insurers can customise the insurance to fit a specific film project perfectly. However, when creating a film in Hong Kong, things don’t always go as planned. Filmmakers should not be using their budget on these filming risks.
Film insurance will cover the project from start to end so that the team can focus on the project being noticed for the Hong Kong Film Festival. It is one of the most crucial steps before starting your production.
7. Begin and Finish the Film
After you have insured your staff, crew, and equipment, you can begin shooting and creating film art. Filmmakers must put in all their effort to create the best project. The creative process will turn a simple project into a proud movie in the Hong Kong film archive.
At this stage, it is up to the filmmaker, staff and crew to do their best. This stage includes pre- and post-production until the film project is complete. The final creative product will represent your chance of being nominated by the Hong Kong Film Festival Society.
8. Get The Film Bought at Filmart Hong Kong
To finally complete and release a movie, it needs to be bought by a production company. Filmart Hong Kong is a great event to exhibit the project to hundreds of production companies. Therefore, Filmart is an excellent place to connect projects to interested companies.
Additionally, there have been various cases where films have been bought at Filmart Hong Kong and reached a huge audience.
When a production company buys the film, it can provide additional funds to edit and re-shoot essential scenes. Most importantly, an expert production company/ distributor can help get a film shown in cinemas and streamed on online platforms. The help pushes the movie to a new creative height and makes a mark in the Hong Kong film archive.
Furthermore, when your film is purchased by an expert distributor and is planned for a cinematic release – it dramatically increases the chances of being nominated by the Hong Kong Film Festival.
9. Promote Film
Once a film has been connected to a production company and plans to release, movie promotions must begin. Advertising and marketing are essential for the film to meet the target market in Hong Kong and Asia. It will also increase the chance of being noticed by the Asian film festival society.
Promotion and marketing include creating a movie trailer, advertising on social media and creating a website for the film. Additionally, do not forget traditional marketing to reach the older audience too. Adequate marketing might be the difference between a well-appreciated film and a flop.
Thus, no matter how great the movie and story are, the film will not succeed without an audience. On the other hand, with the right marketing strategy, more countries in asia may want to show the project and will agree to release it in their local cinemas.
10. Submit the Movie To Hong Kong Film Festival Society
Lastly, It is time to cross your fingers and submit the project to the Hong Kong Film Festival Society. Each year there are various categories that a filmmaker can submit under before the submission date. Filmmakers must ensure their projects match the film festival requirements, which may change yearly.
Therefore, After the project has been submitted on the online portal or contact details – all a filmmaker can do is hope the project stands out and is nominated.
Hong Kong Asian Film Festival is a great opportunity to motivate creativity and build on filmmaking passion. If you want to be nominated for the Hong Kong Film Festival 2024, it’s time to start now.
To Learn More about film insurance and get the best coverage for your film project in Hong Kong and Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.