National Geographic Channel and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) have struck a partnership in an effort to cultivate local documentary filmmaking through the Hong Kong to the World documentary production project.
The partners are aiming to empower local filmmakers with global expertise and local funding, enabling them to produce documentaries about the uniqueness of Hong Kong and China. The project is co-funded by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government through the CreateHK office and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Total funding is more than HKD 3 million ($387,000).
Ward Platt, the president for Asia Pacific and the Middle East at National Geographic Channel, commented, “National Geographic Channel has been expanding its distribution and programming in light of meeting the evolving needs of our audience in Hong Kong. As the home of the world’s most respected documentary filmmakers, we are deeply committed to supporting local productions that better showcase Hong Kong as one of the world’s vibrant cities to National Geographic Channel’s over 320million homes in 166 countries.” He added: “National Geographic Channel is delighted to partner with RTHK, CreateHK and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to launch Hong Kong to the world as an effort to support the Hong Kong SAR Government’s initiative in developing the local filmmaking community. We have high hopes for the Hong Kong to the World project in producing outstanding documentary films about Hong Kong and China that ignite local interest and pride in our hometown. Furthermore, it will give filmmakers an opportunity to share the unique stories, cultures and traditions that Hong Kong has to offer with a global
National Geographic Channel audience.”
Franklin Wong, the director of broadcasting at RTHK, commented: “Since the launch of the television program commissioning project in 2000, more than a hundred of episodes of production have been commissioned, involving an expenditure of HKD 26 million. In the Hong Kong to the World project, RTHK and National Geographic Channel will play an active role in promoting creativity, and providing a platform for independent producers to obtain production experience.”
“This will be an important first step for us to enhance the talent base for documentary production here in Hong Kong,” said Duncan Pescod, the permanent secretary for commerce and economic development (Communications and Technology). “With the rich expertise and experience from National Geographic Channel as well as RTHK, I have no doubt that we are moving forward in the right direction through this project.”
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the CEO of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said, “The Club has agreed to provide funding to the project because we find it very meaningful and in line with the Club's long standing mission to support the development of arts and culture in Hong Kong. We also believe that RTHK and National Geographic Channel are very experienced producers who will be able to provide a unique opportunity to local talents in Hong Kong in enhancing their skills in producing documentaries at a world-class level. We particularly wish to see this project achieving further mileage on grooming young talents in the industry.”