Hong Kong's Ten Years film inspires Japan, Thailand, Taiwan spin-offs


Taiwanese director Rina B. Tsou (right) speaking at a press conference for the official launch of the Ten Years international project during the 22nd Busan International Film Festival in Busan.
Taiwanese director Rina B. Tsou (right) speaking at a press conference for the official launch of the Ten Years international project during the 22nd Busan International Film Festival in Busan.PHOTO: AFP

BUSAN (AFP) - An award-winning film that shook up Hong Kong with its bleak vision of the city's future is to be turned into a pan-Asian franchise, with Japanese, Taiwanese and Thai versions in the works.

The original Ten Years movie was a collection of short films imagining how life might be in Hong Kong in 2025.

Seen as a thinly veiled warning about life under Beijing's rule - including diminished human rights and widespread censorship - the film was banned on the mainland but was a critical success, with screenings around the world.

Speaking at the official launch of the new project, Taiwanese director Rina B. Tsou said the next batch of film-makers involved were ready to ride out any political storms the spin-offs might stir up.

"It will be a challenge for us to put (society's) hidden dangers and hidden fears into film," Tsou, one of five Taiwanese directors attached to that version of the project, said at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival.

In a statement released on Monday, the film-makers behind the Japanese version said they would explore a country "plagued by pollution and ageing" as well as a "society where morality and personal history are manipulated by technology".

The film on Thailand, a country currently ruled by the military, would explore "issues of surveillance and government control".

Taiwan's movie would paint a picture of an island where "immigrant workers are systematically exploited and the loss of culture and dropping birth rate" have caused its inhabitants to turn to "virtual reality escapes".

The original idea for Ten Years was conceived during the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement that brought the central business district of Hong Kong to a standstill in 2014.