Film Development Fund Scheme for Financing Film Production (“Fund Scheme”) – Frequently Asked Questions
 
1. Q: Is there any deadline for submission of application under the Fund Scheme?
  A: The Fund Scheme is open for application throughout the year and there is no deadline for application.
 
2. Q: How much is the application fee for each application?
  A: No application fee would be charged.
 
3. Q: How can I obtain the application form and the application guide?
  A: The application form and the application guide can be downloaded from the Hong Kong Film Development Council (HKFDC) website (www.fdc.gov.hk) or obtained from the office of the HKFDC Secretariat.
 
4. Q: What films have been financed by the Fund Scheme?
  A: Please refer to “Film Production Financing Projects” in “Approved Projects” of the HKFDC website. The information would be updated on monthly basis.
 
5. Q: Is there an annual quota on the amount of government finance and the number of financed films to be approved under the Fund Scheme?
  A: There is no annual quota on the total amount of finance or the number of financed films established by the Fund Scheme.
 
6. Q: Is there any requirement on the applicant’s working experience in film production?
  A: Among the Applicant, the Film Producer and the Film Director, one category or a total of two categories must have produced a total of at least two released films immediately preceding the date of the Application.
 
7. Q: What are the eligibility criteria in respect of the applicant?
  A: The Applicant must be a film production company formed and registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap.622) or the predecessor Ordinance (as defined in section 2 of Cap.622).
 
8. Q: Is there any restriction on the participation of the main film crew in other film productions?
  A: An Applicant may only receive Government Finance for up to two (2) Approved Film Projects at any one time. For this purpose:
  1. if the Applicant is currently involved in any capacity or by any style or description in two or more Approved Film Projects which are under production under this Fund Scheme (other than the Film Project), its Application will not be considered;
  2. if the Film Producer of the Film Project is currently involved directly or indirectly in any capacity or by any style or description in two or more Approved Film Projects which are under production under this Fund Scheme (other than the Film Project), any Application involving this Film Producer will not be considered; and
  3. if the Film Director of the Film Project is currently involved directly or indirectly in any capacity or by any style or description in one or more Approved Film Project which is under production under this Fund Scheme (other than the Film Project), any Application involving this Film Director will not be considered.
 
9. Q: Is there any restriction on the nationality of the main film crew and cast?
  A: In any three of the five categories of Main Film Crew and Cast (namely, Film Producer, Film Director, Scriptwriter, Leading Actor and Leading Actress), at least one person employed in each such category must be a permanent resident in Hong Kong.
 
10. Q: Is there any restriction on film genre?
  A: The Fund Scheme encourages freedom of creation and welcomes the use of the Fund Scheme for production of different genres of commercial drama feature films (except documentary).
 
11. Q: Does the Fund Scheme accept application for short film productions?
  A: The film must be a drama feature film produced for commercial theatrical release at least in Hong Kong.
 
12. Q: Is there any requirement on the screenplay?
  A: The screenplay must be written in the industry format and registered with the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers.
 
13. Q: Is the applicant allowed to revise the screenplay after its submission to the HKFDC Secretariat?
  A: Yes.
 
14. Q: Is there any requirement on the theatrical release of the film?
  A: The film must be potentially capable of qualifying for a certificate for public exhibition in Hong Kong under the Film Censorship Ordinance (Cap.392), and is released in Hong Kong commercial theatres.
 
15. Q: Is there a limit on the production budget?
  A: The production budget must not exceed HK$25 million.
 
16. Q: If the final production cost exceeds the budget, will the Government share the overspend?
  A: The Government shall not be responsible for the extra production costs. The overspend shall be responsible for and met by the film production company.
 
17. Q: Can the “pre-sale income” be treated as capital investment?
  A: All monies derived from the pre-sale of a film which has not yet completed production (i.e. the pre-sale income) shall be deemed as the revenue of the film but not capital investment. Upon the execution of the financing contracts with the Government and the establishment of a collection account, the applicant is required to deposit all the collected income into the collection account for distribution to the financiers (including the Government) on a pro rata basis by the Collection Agent.
 
18. Q: Can the promotion and distribution costs be included in the production budget?
  A: The production budget is restricted for film production only. The promotion and distribution costs shall be raised by the film production company and be repaid from the income of the film afterwards.
 
19. Q: Is there any restriction on the sales and distribution expenses of a film?
  A: The aggregate sales and distribution expenses (including publicity and advertising costs) shall be capped at HK$1 million or 15% of the production budget (whichever is the greater), or such greater amount as may be approved by the Government.
 
20. Q: Is there a cap on the amount of Government Finance?
  A: The Fund Scheme will contribute up to HK$6 million per approved Film Project.
 
21. Q: Is a film allowed to receive financial support from the other Government department of Hong Kong?
  A: The Applicant must not have obtained or applied for other financial support (whether in the form of equity or loan financing, grant or sponsorship or any other form) from the Government for the Film Project.
 
22. Q: Is an application under the Fund Scheme allowed to receive other overseas financing, for example, the finance granted by the other governments?
  A: The Fund Scheme does not impose any restriction to an application which involves overseas financing. However, the applicant should pay attention to the relevant terms of cooperation to ensure that they are not in conflict with the requirements under the Fund Scheme, in particular, when the financier is the government of other country.
 
23. Q: Apart from the duly completed application form, what other related documents should be submitted by the applicant?
  A: Other related documents include statutory declarations from all persons having a controlling interests of the applicant, e.g. all applicant’s company directors, shareholders; certificate of incorporation of the applicant and certificate of change of name of the applicant (if any); applicant’s latest annual return together with any notification of change of secretary and director filed with the companies registry; audited accounts or financial statement of the applicant; certificate of script registration issued by the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers; shooting script; shooting schedule; identity cards of the main film crew and cast; film director’s filmography; cashflow schedule; agreements or letters of intent in respect of financiers; and any other agreements or letters of intent. (For details, please refer to page 19 of the application form).
 
24. Q: What is a “certified true copy”?
  A: A “certified true copy” is one which is duly signed by a company director of the application to confirm that the document submitted is a true copy of the original.
 
25. Q: Is there any other requirement that has to observed apart from the submission of a duly completed form and related documents?
  A: No principal photography of any part of the Proposed Film shall be commenced prior to the date of the Government's written acknowledgement of receipt of the Application.
26. Q: Under normal circumstances, how long will the applicant be informed of the result of the application?
  A: Under normal circumstances, the applicant will be informed of the result within 6-8 weeks from the acknowledgment of receipt of an application. If an application is successful, an “offer letter” will be sent to the applicant. The offer letter will set out the offer amount and the related terms and conditions. If an application is rejected, the applicant may re-submit an application for the film if significant changes have been made to the film project, or where the applicant is able to produce information to show that the reasons for the rejection no longer apply.
 
27. Q: If an application is rejected, will the applicant get back all the submitted information and the related documents?
  A: The application form and all information and the related documents submitted by an applicant will be retained by the Government and HKFDC Secretariat for record and audit purposes and will not be returned to the applicant. Applicants should make copies of these documents for their own record.