Film subsidies and cultural policy : the status of Hong Kong cinema

Emilie Yueh-Yu YEH, Darrell William DAVIS

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article reviews the film policy undertaken by the Hong Kong SAR government since the late 1990s. This film policy has been revised and refined over the past two decades, with several earmarked subsidy schemes intended to renew the film industry in production, promotion, and overseas exhibition. We present an account of government film subsidies and examine their effectiveness in the rejuvenation of Hong Kong cinema, followed by the feedback of filmmakers on the schemes. The dynamics and tension between the top-down approaches and the bottom-up perspectives of industry and film workers are critical in gauging the impact of the subsidies. In our final analysis, we reflect on how and why Hong Kong film policy might not have fulfilled its promises. We argue that the government cultural policy leverages the film industry as constitutive of creative and cultural industries to position Hong Kong as a creative capital and cultural hub.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors thank Hong Kong filmmakers and film officials for sharing their views and insights on Hong Kong SAR film policy and the problems facing Hong Kong cinema over the past decades. Special thanks to Charlie Fung and Erica Poon who provided crucial research assistance at different stages of this project, and to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and insightful comments.

The work was supported by the Lingnan University [Faculty Research Grant 101879].


  • Film subsidies
  • film policy
  • cultural policy
  • Hong Kong cinema


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