China: Banned Hong Kong film scrubbed from award coverage


Chinese media blocked live coverage of the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards on 9 April 2017 every time mention was made of Hong Kong crime film ‘Trivisa’, which was banned from screens in mainland China upon its release in 2016, reported South China Morning Post on 10 April 2017.

Chinese media had also erased the film from published lists, but left the name of the person who won the award.

‘Trivisa’, the largest winner among the nominated films, won five of the six awards for which it was nominated, including best film, director, screenplay, actor and film editing.

The film follows the lives of three criminals in Hong Kong, just before the British colony was handed over to China in 1997, features scenes of Chinese officials accepting bribes, and generally portrays the area’s decline under Chinese rule.


Last year’s winner also banned
A trio of directors made the film, including Jevons Au Man-Kit, who was one of the five directors that made the film ‘Ten Years’, the Hong Kong film that won the best picture award in 2016, which was also banned from mainland China screens. Chinese media at the time also banned mention of that film during the award ceremony.

The South China Morning Post reported that the director is on what many believe to be an unofficial blacklist by Chinese censors, which is also believed to include other Hong Kong artists, including singer and independence activist Denise Ho, who saw her songs and videos scrubbed from major Chinese streaming platforms in late 2016.

‘Ten Years’, set in 2025, tells stories of China’s Communist Party’s impact on Hong Kong society wherein people are persecuted for speaking Cantonese rather than Mandarin.

Earlier in the year, ‘Trivisa’ was named best picture by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society, which is the third year in a row its best picture winner was a film banned in mainland China. ‘Port of Call’ and ‘The Midnight After’ were the previous winners.


Sources

» Variety – 17 May 2017
Handover hangover: Hong Kong’s film industry faces an uncertain future

» South China Morning Post – 10 April 2017
Why so sensitive? A closer look at Trivisa, the Hong Kong Film Awards best picture banned in China – just like Ten Years

» South China Morning Post – 10 April 2017
Crime film Trivisa takes top prize at Hong Kong Film Awards

» Hong Kong Free Press – 10 April 2017
Young directors take top prize at Hong Kong Film Awards

» South China Morning Post – 16 January 2017
A film not released in China is named best picture by Hong Kong Film Critics Society for third year in a row


More from Freemuse

» 29 September 2016: China: Singer’s music scrubbed from online music services due to Hong Kong activism

» 30 May 2016: China: Political art installation pulled from public space in Hong Kong

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