Dystopian movie Ten Years won “Best Film” at the 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards held at the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.

Crime thriller Port of Call won seven awards, including best actor for Aaron Kwok portrayal of Detective Chong.

A “miracle”

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.

Ng Ka-leung, one of the film’s directors, told reporters that he was not concerned by Beijing’s opinion: “If you ask me what Beijing might feel towards us, I would say it doesn’t really matter. The movie was made for Hong Kong people. We are open-minded to anyone who likes it or not. We just hope that Hong Kong people can share our feelings. We would like people to think about the future of Hong Kong.”

Aaron Kwok. Photo: Hong Kong Film Awards.

The film was called a “miracle,” for its success despite a limited showing in cinema chains. Thousands of Hong Kongers flocked to see the movie at special screenings across the city of Friday.

Despite being produced on a low budget of HK$500,000, it took over HK$6 million at cinemas according to latest figures at Box Office Mojo, a website owned by the international film site IMDB.

The 10 Years directors. Photo: Hong Kong Film Awards.

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.

Blocked in China

In February, Chinese state media broadcaster 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.

As Sunday’s ceremony came to a close, news of the “best film” winner was omitted from reports in mainland China. On Saturday, state mouthpiece Global Times ran an article entitled: “Hong Kong Film Awards fails to attract attention at home”.

Other winners at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards:

Best Film: Ten Years

Best Actor: Aaron Kwok (Port Of Call)

Best Actress: Jessie Li (Port Of Call)

Best Director: Tsui Hark (The Taking Of Tiger Mountain)

Best Screenplay: Philip Yung Tsz Kwong (Port Of Call)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Ning (Port Of Call)

Best Supporting Actress: Elaine Jin (Port Of Call)

Best New Performer: Michael Ning (Port Of Call)

Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle (Port Of Call) 

Best Film Editing: Cheung Ka Fai (Ip Man 3)

Best Art Direction: William Chang Suk Ping, Yau Wai Ming (Office)

Best Costume and Make Up Design: Yee Chung Man (Monster Hunt) 

Best Action Choreography: Li Chung Chi (SPL 2: A Time For Consequences)

Best Sound Design: Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu Keung, Yiu Chun Hin (The Taking Of Tiger Mountain) 

Best Visual Effects: Jason Snell, Ellen Poon, Tang Bingbing (Monster Hunt)

Best New Director: Raman Hui (Monster Hunt) 

Best Original Film Score: Dayu Lo, Chan Fai Young (Office)

Best Original Film Song: We Almost Fly (She Remembers, He Forgets) 

Best Film From the Mainland and Taiwan: The Assassin

Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.