The nomination of the film “Ten Years” has led to a boycott on broadcasting the Hong Kong Film Awards in China.

The film was selected as a candidate for best film by the Hong Kong Film Awards earlier this January.

The statue representing Hong Kong Film Awards at the Avenue of Stars. Photo: Wikicommons

State media CCTV notified the Hong Kong Film Awards Association that it will not broadcast this year’s event on television. Tencent, the Chinese technology giant, also told the association that it will cease its broadcasting online.

It is suspected that the state authorities issued an order banning “Ten Years” from appearing in the media.

Ten Years is a dark socio-political fantasy that imagines what Hong Kong may look like ten years on. 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.

A still from Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

Speaking to Ming Pao, Derek Yee Tung-Sing said that he expects a loss of HK$4 million to 5 million if the contract, already signed, between Tencent and the Association is cancelled. However, he is not worried about financial problems since the event is backed by the Hong Kong government.

The film was called a “miracle,” for its success despite a limited showing in cinema chains.  It 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.

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

The Hong Kong Film Awards will be held on April 3rd.

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.