Hong Kong Film Awards: Local Producers Want Voting System Changes After 'Ten Years' Win

Hong Kong International Film Festival
'Ten Years'

Leading industry players felt 'Ten Years' winning best film was a result of voting being "manipulated to produce an irrational result."

Local filmmakers are proposing significant changes to the voting system of the Hong Kong Film Awards after anti-China political drama Ten Years won best film honors, reports Hong Kong's biggest daily newspaper, Apple Daily.

After the awards on Sunday, a number of local film producers spoke out against Ten Years winning best film, most notably Peter Lam, chairman of Hong Kong filmmaking powerhouse Media Asia and founding chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Films. Lam said the awards were hijacked by politics.

Other prominent members of the Chamber of Films have indicated that a proposal would be made to the Hong Kong Film Awards Association Board of Directors to change the voting mechanism of the awards.

"I think the voting system of the Hong Kong Film Awards has room for improvement, especially in the second round of voting. It can be easily manipulated to produce an irrational result," said Daniel Lam, Chamber of Films member and owner of Universe Films, whose Little Big Master was one of the nominated pics for best film.

He added: "We at the Chamber of Films will call for a meeting as soon as possible, and hope the Hong Kong Film Awards will amend its voting system. If there were nothing wrong with the voting system, how would Ten Years be crowned as the best film? We hope the Hong Kong Film Awards will listen to our comments, otherwise it's meaningless for us to participate in the awards."

At present, the voting of the film awards is divided into two rounds. The first round was split into a 100-person professional jury and registered voters, each group amounting to 50% of the vote for the nomination of a film in each category. The second round consists of a 55-person professional jury and members of 15 film industry and music industry associations, the former's vote taking up 55% of the final vote. The best film is voted by all the members of the 15 film industry and composer and lyricist associations, and they take up 45% of the final vote.

There have been disputes over the determination of the awards in past years, but this year the result has become politicized, said Infernal Affairs producer John Chong. "This award was voted by a majority of filmmakers, so if they voted it as best film, it is the best film," he said. "Some people would think it's fair or unfair for every award. If the Chamber of Films thinks the result is unfair, they can propose to the Hong Kong Film Awards board of directors. The Hong Kong Film Awards is open and democratic."