Policy and creative strategies: Hong Kong CEPA films in the China market

Emilie Yueh yu Yeh*, Shi-Yan Chao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the creative strategies of Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) films in engagements with the China market under the framework of CEPA introduced in 2004. One of the aims of CEPA for the film sector is to boost co-production between Hong Kong and the mainland. In the past 10 years, CEPA has dramatically changed Hong Kong cinema’s relationship with China in that major film directors have moved to produce CEPA films to tap into the rapidly growing mainland market. This shift has been considered as part of HKSAR’s overall mainlandization and subsequent disappearance of a distinct local identity. This article revisits this view by presenting two case studies to see if indeed Hong Kong CEPA pictures are devoid of Hong Kong elements. The case studies analyze textual elements of two CEPA blockbuster films, The Mermaid (dir. Stephen Chow, 2016) and The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D (dir. Tsui Hark, 2014). Citing the intertextual allusions to the directors’ old works seen in these two films, the authors argue that the market advantage granted by the CEPA scheme in effect allowed Hong Kong filmmakers to revive and extend signature creative strategies of Hong Kong cinema, despite censorship constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-201
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement)
  • Chinese film policy
  • Hong Kong cinema
  • The Mermaid, The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D


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