A crowdfunding campaign to screen in London the Hong Kong dystopian thriller Ten Years was launched last week, and it could be meeting its target funding amount soon.

The campaign, called Project 296, was launched on April 9, asking 296 people to pledge at least £6 (HK$66) for the event to be held. As of Monday afternoon, it had raised £1,558 – or 87 percent – out of its £1,776 (HK$19,469) target, with 12 days to go before the campaign’s deadline.

The founder of the campaign said on its page: “My current mission is to host a charity screening to gather donations for the Cantonese communities and promote the preservation of Cantonese culture.”

A still of Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

The campaign was launched after the film was named “Best Film” at the 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards last week, a controversial decision which provoked debate among the film industry, politicians and local society.

The screening will be held on May 15 at 10 am in Hackney Central, London, if the necessary funds are raised.

The donations will cover the cost of the screening licence, the screening file delivery, venue hire, and a donation to the Chinese Community Centre’s London Chinatown Youth Club and the British Chinese Heritage Centre, both registered charities in the UK.

Ten Years screenings sold out.

Meanwhile, additional screenings of the film in Hong Kong were sold out in less than three minutes on Monday.

The film was scheduled to have five additional screenings at the Agnes b cinema at the Hong Kong Arts Centre between April 17 and 19. Tickets were put on sale at 10am on Monday, but were sold out by 10:03am, according to hkfilmblog.

Screenings of Ten Years at the same venue between this Tuesday and Thursday were sold out quickly as well.

A still of Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

Ten Years is a dark socio-political fantasy that imagines what Hong Kong may look like in ten years time. Five directors produced 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.

It was previously dismissed by Chinese state media outlet Global Times as “ridiculous,” with the claim it was “spreading desperation”.

Although Ten Years won the best film award, Chinese media on the mainland did not mention it. After its win, thousands of curious Chinese citizens downloaded the 2011 American romantic comedy Ten Years in the hope of viewing the Hong Kong namesake.

An unofficial previous version of the film was uploaded to the internet, but was soon hidden by the uploader.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.