Monday, September 28, 2020


Derek Yee does not feel merging two years of movies into one event eligibility would be an issue due to the small number of releases this year.
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Aaron Kwok would have to wait for nominations for DISCONNECT'D

Sean Lau's SHOCK WAVE 2 will face even stiffer competition
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The Hong Kong Film Award Association president Derek Yee announces that the 40th Hong Kong Film Award will be postponed until 2022
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The Hong Kong Film Award Association yesterday issued a public notice. Due to the novel coronavirus changes, Hong Kong cinemas were unable to operate normally for most of this year and this year's film releases would be drastically postponed. Thus the event decided to postponed the 40th Hong Kong Film Award presentation ceremony to 2022. Films that met the criteria in 2020 and 20201 would be eligible for first season 2022 combined voting and award ceremony. He also thanked the sponsors and various film companies' support and understanding of this decision. The Hong Kong Film Award Association stressed that this change would not affect how fair and representative the event would be.

Originally scheduled for 2021, the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards will postpone for a year and also combine two years into one. Reportedly this year only a dozen or Hong Kong films were released, many film company bosses due to the continuing pandemic would rather give up the originally scheduled spots for films that were to be released this year, postpone their releases and even production plans until after the pandemic. Such a production rate would make selection more excellent films and performs in Hong Kong films form the past year difficult.

Currently at work in Shanghai, the Hong Kong Film Awards Association president Derek Yee Tung Sing (Siu Bo) responded to the move to postpone the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards for a year and confirmed that the Hong Kong Film Awards will not take place in April next year. He pointed out that as of September 28th this year, only a dozen or so Hong Kong films were released. The release rate was indeed very few. He said, "Actually no matter how many films were released in the year, or the market problems, planning the awards how under the pandemic would continue to be severely impacted. Thus in the end we made this helpless decision."

How did sponsors and film companies react to this decision to postpone for a year? Did the event have any voice of opposition and how did it reach an agreement? Siu Bo said, the Hong Kong Film Award Association consisted of 14 industry affiliated organizations (including the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association, the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild, the Hong Kong Theater Association, the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers and others). All suggestions would be approved internally within the affiliated organizations before handing them over to the Hong Kong Film Awards Board of Directors' common meeting for final voting discussions and decision. This time 14 director representatives would first consult with their own affiliated organizations before making the decision. He said, "Among them, one affiliated organization hoped to continue the event. I already explained to that organizations' president, because the planning required time and currently too many aspects had uncertainties the event had no way to begin planning like guest invitation and venue rental. In the end the majority of the Board of Directors felt that the 40th year would be representative and did not want the event to take place casually under this unstable pandemic condition. In addition few films were released last year and greatly took away the attractiveness of the film competition. Thus we decided to postpone for a year." As for government financial assistance, he revealed that it would also be postponed for a year. However the film industry itself was already in hot water, was making this decision very tough and heartbreaking? He admitted that this truly was a decision out of helplessness.

The 40th Hong Kong Film Award would be delayed until 2022, which would be the first time two years would be combined into one. With more films in competition than annually in the past, would the judging format be more difficult? Siu Bo said, "No, we would expect that. During this period few films were released in Hong Kong. Combining the two years into one election absolutely wouldn't affect the event's attractiveness. In past years we have had over 100 eligible films, in terms of past experience the two year combination into one year voting would not affect the competitiveness, the evaluation abilities of the voters and the related work." However the 40th anniversary would be a very special day, would the delay cause it to lose its representative nature? He said, "The delay doesn't affect what the Hong Kong Film Awards represent, the delay under special conditions absolutely would not affect how fair or how representative the Hong Kong Film Awards would be." Would the Hong Kong Film Awards 40th anniversary celebration theme remain? He admitted that the pandemic affected all preparation issues, thus the related activities would be decided after the pandemic. However with 2021 freed up next year, would the event come up with other activities to help the film industry? He pointed out that the Hong Kong Film Awards was an organization that would only service the industry, and would not be involved in industry development.

Speaking of this year's lack of a physical award show as the results were announced online, the Hong Kong Film Award Association earlier said that it planned to present the awards to this year's winners at next year's award red carpet ceremony. Would the plan be postponed for a year as well? Yee Tung Sing said that actually the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards winners earlier were notified by the event to pick up their awards. The make up award ceremony would have to wait until after the pandemic. Yee Tung Sing also revealed that this board of directors term would be 2019-2021. The 40th Hong Kong Film Awards would be postponed for a year and the current board of directors would still be responsible from planning to completion.

Under the pandemic and the film market effects, Hong Kong in the past 9 months only had a dozen or so Hong Kong film releases. In the first half of the year the Hong Kong total box office revenue fell to HK$ 290 million, a 70% drop from the same period last year. Film released this film only included ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL 2020 (GA YAU HEI SI 2020), YOU ARE THE ONE (NGOR DIK SHUN POON NAM YAU), LOST AND FOUND IN TOKYO (SHOOK NUI OI MAN YAU), FALLEN (DOR LOK FA), KNOCK OUT, the currently in release FATAL VISIT (SING HOR SAI MAU SAK ONG) and others.

However, coming up would be the Gong Li starred LEAP, Ann Hui On Wa's documentary KEEP ROLLING, from the end of this year to next year the Andy Lau Tak Wa starred SHOCK WAVE 2 (CHAK DAN JUEN GA 2), the late Benny Chan Muk Sing directed RAGING FIRE (NO FOR), the Louis Koo Tin Lok starred WARRIORS OF FUTURE (MING YUT JIN GEI) and BACK TO THE PAST (CHUM CHUN GEI), the Aaron Kwok Fu Sing starred DISCONNECT'D (DUEN MONG) and WHEN THE WIND BLOWS (FUNG JOI HEI SI), the Takeshi Kaneshiro (Gum Sing Mo) starred SONS OF THE NEON LIGHT (FUNG LUM FOR SHAN), the Gordon Lam Ka Tung starred HAND-ROLLED CIGARETTE (SAU GUEN YIN), the Francis Ng Chun Yu and Rachel Lee Lai Chun starred DRIFTING (JUK SHUN PIU LAU), SEPTET (CHUT YUN LOK DUI) with 7 great directors and the Sandra Ng Kwan Yu starred ON YOUR MOM, GET SET, GO! (MA MA DIK SUN KEI SIU JI). Thus the Hong Kong Film Award delay to combine two years into one, to the overall film award competition, would coordinate this special moment of the 40th award show with even more variety, full bloom and more attractions. KEEP ROLLING's director Man Lim Chung said about the arrangement, "I am not affected, I only feel sorry for those new directors and good movies that originally had a chance to be nominated this year. Documentary films like ours never plan for any award!" THE WAY WE KEEP DANCING (KONG MO PAI 3)'s director Adam Wong Sau Ping said, "I look forward to the 2022 Hong Kong Film Awards to take place in an even better Hong Kong, everyone let's go!" YI CHI YUN SUN (SECOND LIFE)'s new director Ho Lik Hung said, "The one year postponement indeed is somewhat disappointing, but I respect the colleagues' and the event's professional decisions." Actor Lam Ka Tung supported the combination of the Hong Kong Film Awards. "The merger would be good because the first half of this year didn't provide many opportunities to schedule film releases. Even now with the social distance measures easing, only three months are left. Movies that would be able to be released wouldn't be enough." Would the combination give his film HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE pressure on the 2022 Hong Kong Film Award nominations? He said, "I took part in HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE to support new comers. Aside from the director, many workers were fresh people. I mainly hope that everyone would have a chance to work, whether it would be nominated for the Hong Kong Film Award it wasn't what's important."

Stephy Tang Lai Yun said, "Of course it's regrettable, for so many years Hong Kong Film Awards has never been suspended or have any issue, but I understand this decision very well. Everyone knows about this year's condition. Aside from the film industry, every business has been affected. The delay is an idea amid a lack of better ideas. In the first half of the year I had no film release, in November I would have SHADOWS (CHAN YING HUNG GAN). This year I haven't thought too much about any nomination, as I had my mind on the pandemic. I hope it will quickly pass and everyone would be able to operate normally, live healthily, unite and get over the hard times together. I hope to see everyone again at the 2022 Hong Kong Film Award."

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