A motion to reform the judging mechanism proposed by film groups displeased with independent movie Ten Years’ win at the 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards has been voted down at the award association’s board of directors meeting on Monday.

Earlier, the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association and the Hong Kong Chamber of Films Limited proposed removing the 55 professional adjudicators – whose votes currently count for 55 per cent of the final score – from the second round of judging at the film awards.

Instead, they said, the members of the 13 groups under the Hong Kong Film Awards Association and members of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong – whose votes now make up 45 per cent – should choose the winning work using a one-person-one-vote method.

A still from box office hit Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

However, the majority voted against the motion at the meeting on Monday, Apple Daily reported. Tin Kai-Man, a representative of the Hong Kong Movies Production Executives Association, said some believed it was unfair for 55 professional adjudicators to be given 55 per cent of the score in the second round of judging, so he proposed increasing the number of adjudicators to 100 and have the score take up 50 per cent instead.

“I only made the suggestion today – ultimately there’ll only be a decision when the board meets. The board will refer it to the judging committee. If they do not believe that there needs to be any changes, there may not even be slight adjustments [to the judging mechanism],” Tin said. He also said he made the suggestion to “unite the association.”

Ten Years, the winner of “best film” at the awards ceremony this April, is a dark socio-political fantasy that imagines what Hong Kong may look like in a decade.  The movie, produced on a low budget of HK$500,00, was called a “miracle” for its success despite a limited showing at cinema chains. 

The film was blasted by China’s state mouthpiece Global Times as “ridiculous” following its release, and in February, Chinese state media broadcaster CCTV notified the Hong Kong Film Awards Association that it will not broadcast the awards ceremony. Tencent, the Chinese technology giant, also told the association that it will not broadcast the event online.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.