HONG KONG - Sunday night's Best Film win by controversial movie Ten Years has drawn sharp criticism, with Hong Kong entertainment magnate Peter Lam calling it a "misfortune" for the Hong Kong film industry.
Ten Years, an indie movie which angered Beijing over its portrayal of the city's dystopian future under Chinese rule, won Best Film over commercial hits like gongfu flick Ip Man 3, Tsui Hark's The Taking Of Tiger Mountain and crime thriller Port Of Call, which led with seven wins at Sunday's ceremony.
On stage while thanking organisers Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) Association for its guts in voting for the film, Ten Years co-producer Andrew Choi admitted that the HK$600,000 (S$104,500) film had fallen short in many areas in terms of its production.
He said however that the win proved that the local film industry had a lot of possibilities.
In comments quoted by various media including Apple Daily on Monday morning, Lam picked up on that. He told reporters that he respected the decision of the association members, but said he did not agree with the result.
"I think Ten Years' win is a misfortune for the Hong Kong film world.
"You can see that Ten Years had no other nominations, and is no blockbuster. That proves it has no attributes of a best film. To film-makers, its win is unfair. It is politics kidnapping the profession. It has politicised the film awards judging process," added the chairman of Hong Kong film company Media Asia.
Ten Years is a feature-length film comprising five short vignettes depicting a dark vision of the city in 2025. In one vignette, Mandarin replaces Cantonese as the dominant language. Scenes also include those of an old woman setting herself alight before Hong Kong's British Consulate.
After China's state-controlled Global Times slammed it as absurd and pessimistic, saying it was a "thought virus" in January, screenings in Hong Kong stopped.
Following the awards, Chinese media portals including Tencent and Sina omitted any mention of the film's win while reporting on other results of the night, reported Reuters.
Reports on NetEase focused on Aaron Kwok's first HKFA win, for Best Actor for Port Of Call, and the movie's victory with other prizes including Best Actress for Jessie Li, New Performer prize and Supporting Actor for Michael Ning, Supporting Actress for Elaine Jin, Cinematography for Christopher Doyle and Screenplay.
Tsui Hark took the Best Director prize, and Shaw Brothers' movie queen Li Lihua, 91, was honoured with a lifetime achievement prize which was accepted on video by her daughter who said the former actress was in hospital.