18 February 2019
Ten Years executive producer Andrew Choi, holding the best film trophy, poses with the directors and cast of the movie. Photos: Reuters, Facebook
Ten Years executive producer Andrew Choi, holding the best film trophy, poses with the directors and cast of the movie. Photos: Reuters, Facebook

Film producers put pressure on award body after Ten Years win

Hong Kong producers are putting pressure on the Hong Kong Film Awards Association after it gave the best picture award to the politically sensitive movie Ten Years.

The Hong Kong Chamber of Films, which represents the owners of local film production outfits, is set to hold a meeting before asking the Hong Kong Film Awards Association to review the mechanism it uses to pick award winners, Apple Daily reports.

Confirming the planned move, Daneil Lam Shiu-ming, chairman and managing director of film producer Universe International Holdings Ltd., told the newspaper the award body’s evaluation mechanism really needs to be revised as it could be easily manipulated.

It is hoped that the association could make some changes based on the suggestions of other players in the film industry, otherwise there is no point for film investors to participate in the event in the future, Lam said.

The rare action taken by the film tycoons, many of whom have investments in the mainland, is aimed at putting pressure on the association after it gave the best film award to independently produced Ten Years at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday night.

The choice of the award recipient surprised many people, especially those in the film industry, as the movie didn’t receive any nominations in other categories, and sparked intense criticism that the judges wanted to project their political views at the expense of professionalism.

The controversial film, which portrays Hong Kong’s bleak future under China’s rule, has been banned in the mainland. Chinese censors also blocked all news about the awards ceremony.

The movie was produced for only HK$500,000.

Ta Kung Pao, a pro-Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong, said in an editorial on Tuesday that Ten Years deserves no award since it insults the “one country, two systems” principle, tarnishes Hong Kong’s image and has no artistic merit at all.

Crucindo Hung, chairman of the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association, said Ten Years won because of compassion from the judges, adding that he thought it was a big joke.

But Wong Fei-pang, one of the directors of Ten Years, said critics of the film showed their disrespect for the judges’ professionalism.

Lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok, who represents the sports, performing arts and culture constituency, said he doesn’t think politics was involved in the choice of the best picture, adding that there is no justification for anyone to assail judges for attempting to show their political stance through their votes.

Why Ten Years is perfect timing no thanks to China (April 5, 2016)

Mainland won’t show 35th HK Film Awards because of Ten Years (Feb. 22, 2016)

Dark vision of Hong Kong’s future proves surprise box office hit (Jan. 22, 2016) 

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