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CreateSmart Initiative helps creative industries explore overseas markets

As part of its continuing efforts to drive the development of creative industries, Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) has sponsored the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) to implement projects that support local creative talent to engage in overseas competitions and exchanges. These projects, namely Hong Kong Short Film: New Action Express, Animation Lab and Kaleidoscope - History of Hong Kong Comics Touring Exhibition, have received funding support from the CreateSmart Initiative (CSI).

Speaking at a press briefing today (March 2), the Head of CreateHK, Mr Jerry Liu, said: "The projects tie in with one of our strategies, i.e. promoting the creative industries overseas to help explore outside markets."

Hong Kong Short Film: New Action Express will provide funding support to local short film producers to participate in specified international short film festivals or competitions. The HKAC will submit the winning entries of six major local short film competitions to about 40 international competitions and festivals, with the competition entry fee covered by the scheme. The scheme will also sponsor the travelling and relevant expenses for all local producers who are invited to join these competitions and festivals. HKAC will make a list of the international short film festivals and competitions to be covered and work out the sponsorship details. Application for the project is expected to begin in early May.

"The project will provide a good chance for local producers to acquire more experience, raise their profile internationally and showcase Hong Kong's creativity to the world," Mr Liu said.

Animation Lab meanwhile aims at enhancing the creative standard of the industry as a whole. Under the project, the internationally renowned Gobelins School of the Image of France will send instructors to Hong Kong to conduct a master class for budding and professional local animators. Two students showing great potential will be awarded scholarships to attend a summer course at the Gobelins School. They will share their experience with other animators and students upon returning to Hong Kong.

"It is a new attempt for us to sponsor a project that will arrange for local talent to study overseas to enhance their creativity. Animators and students in Hong Kong also stand to benefit as the HKAC will help the two scholarship recipients summarise systematically what they have learnt for sharing with others," Mr Liu said.

CreateHK has also supported the industry to stage Kaleidoscope - History of Hong Kong Comics Touring Exhibition at the Angouleme International Comics Festival from January 27 to 30 in France. This is the first time Hong Kong has sent a delegation to join this largest and most influential comic festival in Europe. Through this project, local industry players are able to forge an exchange platform with overseas counterparts to further co-operation and enhance their international status.

Mr Liu said CreateHK would continue to proactively liaise with other organisations in the creative field to broaden collaboration and support the development of creative industries on different fronts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011