The international distribution rights for the surprise box office hit Ten Years have been obtained by Golden Scene, a Hong Kong-based film distributor.

Ten Years is a dark socio-political fantasy that imagines what Hong Kong may look like in the year 2025. Five directors produced five shorts exploring a city where shops are attacked by uniformed army cadets for selling banned materials, where Mandarin is the dominant language, and where an activist self-immolates in a fight for Hong Kong’s independence.

Ng Ka-leung, who directed one of the shorts and was involved in the talks, told HKFP that he and Golden Scene sought each other out.

“We cannot do anything overseas. We only have a few people involved in the project… managing the local physical and non-physical distribution of the film is already a lot of work so we wanted someone to manage the international distribution,” said Ng.

He added that the film will be shown in Osaka, Japan and other locations in the near future.

The film was made on a low budget of HK$500,000 but took over HK$6 million at cinemas according to latest figures at Box Office Mojo, a website owned by the international film site IMDB despite a limited showing in cinema chains.

The movie recently won a best film nomination at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards.

However, the success of the film also caught the attention of the Chinese state. In late January, China’s state newspaper Global Times criticised the film as “ridiculous,” saying that it was spreading desperation.

Update 22/2: Ng Kar-Wai said that the filmmakers are collaborating with Golden Scene on international distribution rights. Golden Scene said that “It is our honour to be representing this film in the international film market.”

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.