Middle East producers ignoring Eastern promise

The Middle East film and television production business is missing out on significant commercial opportunities by ignoring Asia, according to Benjamin Chau, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC).
Benjamin Chau, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council.
Benjamin Chau, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council.

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The Middle East film and television production business is missing out on significant commercial opportunities by ignoring Asia, according to Benjamin Chau, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC). 

“There is an opportunity for the Middle East to attract producers from China and Hong Kong,” he said. “Last year, China produced 400 movies. These take in lots of different locations, not just in China,” added Chau.
 
“They have a growing population and growing demand for movies and there is no reason why the Middle East cannot grab a share of this.”
 
Speaking at the HKTDC’s annual FILMART event Chau also had some advice for those responsible for promoting the region’s content creation and delivery business.
 
“The Middle East needs to do more to promote itself in other regions. The responsible organisations need to attend as many industry events as possible,” he argued. “It is also important that it produces its own content for the world market as well as hosting international productions from established markets.”
 
The FILMART event features 505 exhibitors including technology providers and production houses looking to find distribution deals in the Asia region.
 
“The number of pre-registered content buyers has increased two percent this year. We have seen a fall in buyers from traditional markets like Europe and the US. However, there has been an increase in emerging markets, especially India. The number of Middle East based buyers has also increased in each the past three years.”

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