Film Development Fund Scheme for Film Production Grant (“Grant Scheme”) – Frequently Asked Questions
 
1. Q: Is there any deadline for submission of application under the Grant Scheme?
  A: The Grant Scheme will be open for applications on a quarterly basis. The deadlines for submitting applications in the eight quarters during the pilot period are:
  • 4th December 2015
  • 29th February 2016
  • 31st May 2016
  • 31st August 2016
  • 30th November 2016
  • 28th February 2017
  • 31st May 2017
  • 31st August 2017
  • 30th November 2017
  • 28th February 2018
 
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: Is there a quota on the number of films to be approved under the Grant Scheme?
  A: A maximum of three grant quotas will be provided in each quarter. In other words, a maximum of 30 quotas will be provided in the pilot period.
 
5. Q: Is there any requirement on the applicant's working experience in film production?
  A: Among the applicant, film producer and 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.
 
6. Q: What are the eligibility criteria in respect of the applicant?
  A: The Applicant must be a film production company which is (i) a Hong Kong company formed and registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap.622) or the predecessor Ordinance (as defined in section 2 of Cap. 622); or (ii) a registered non-Hong Kong company (as defined in section 2 of Cap. 622).
 
7. Q: Is there any restriction on the participation of the main film crew in other film productions?
  A: The application will not be considered if any of the following conditions occur:-
  1. The applicant 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 implementation/production under the Grant Scheme, Film Development Fund Scheme for Financing Film Production (“Financing Scheme”) or First Feature Film Initiative (“FFFI”)) (other than the applying film project).
  2. The 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 implementation/ production under the Grant Scheme, the Financing Scheme or FFFI (other than the applying film project).
  3. 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 implementation/production under the Grant Scheme, the Financing Scheme or FFFI (other than the applying film project).
 
8. Q: Is there any restriction on the nationality of the main film crew and cast?
  A: In the following categories of main film crew and cast, at least one person in each category must be a permanent resident in Hong Kong:
  1. producer;
  2. film director;
  3. screenwriter;
  4. leading actor (drama) / leading male voice over (animation) / leading male artiste in dramatic part (documentary) (if any);
  5. leading actress (drama) / leading female voice over (animation) / leading female artiste in dramatic part (documentary) (if any); and
  6. host / commentator or main interviewee (documentary) (if any).
 
9. Q: Is there any restriction on film genre?
  A: The Grant Scheme encourages freedom of creation and welcomes the use of the Grant Scheme for production of different genres of commercial films.
 
10. Q: Is there any restriction on the schedule of principal photography?
  A: If the Principal Photography of any part of the Proposed Film is commenced prior to the date of the Government's written acknowledgement of receipt of the Application, the Application will be disqualified and not be considered any further by the Government.
 
11. Q: Does the Grant Scheme accept application for short film productions?
  A: The film must be a feature drama, animation or documentary film produced for commercial theatrical release at least in Hong Kong. The length of the film must be 80 minutes or above.
 
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: There must be at least five shows in seven consecutive days during the first-round theatrical release of the film in Hong Kong.
 
15. Q: Is there a limit on the production budget?
  A: The production budget must not exceed HK$13 million.
 
16. Q: What will be the consequence if the final production cost exceeds HK$13 million?
  A: The Government reserves the right to terminate the Film Production Grant Agreement if the actual production costs of the approved film project exceed $13 million as this will constitute an Event of Default as stated in the Film Production Grant Agreement.
 
17. 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.
 
18. Q: Is there a cap on the amount of Government Grant?
  A: A grant of 20% of the approved production budget or actual production cost, whichever is the lower, and capped at HK$2 million, , will be provided to the approved film project.
 
19. Q: Is a film allowed to receive financial support from the other department of Hong Kong Government?
  A: The Applicant must not have obtained or applied for any 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. The applicant must also not apply for any other financial support from the Government for the film project unless any of the following occurs:-
  1. the application is unsuccessful in the first-time assessment and does not earn the eligibility to be re-assessed;
  2. the applicant gives up the right for re-assessment of the film project; or
  3. the application is unsuccessful in the re-assessment.
 
20. Q: Is an application under the Grant Scheme allowed to receive other overseas financing, for example, the finance granted by the other governments?
  A: The Grant 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 Grant Scheme, in particular, when the financier is the government of other country.
 
21. 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 and shareholders; business registration certificate of the applicant, 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 the registration of the full screenplay of the relevant drama/animation, or detail treatment and the relevant source materials of the relevant documentary issued by the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers; shooting script; shooting schedule; identity cards of the main film crew members and casts / participated performers; agreements or letters of intent in respect of engagement of main film crew members and casts / participated performers, sales and distribution of the proposed film, insurance policy / quotation etc; film director's filmography; cashflow schedule; agreements or letters of intent signed between the applicant and other financiers; the authorization document(s) or licensing agreement(s) or release(s) of original work(s) / story of real person(s) / story of main interviewee(s) (if any); and any other agreements or letters of intent.
 
22. 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.
 
23. Q: Is there any other requirement that has to be observed apart from the submission of a duly completed form and related documents ?
  A: Unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Government, principal photography of any part of the proposed film shall not be commenced prior to the applicant being notified in writing of the result of the application by the Government.
 
24. 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 three to four months after the lapse of submission deadline of the respective quarter. 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.
 
25. 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.