Hong Kong Film Awards fails to attract attention at home

By Wei Xi in Hong Kong Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2016-4-3 20:58:31

Andy Lau. Photo: CFP


Poyd. Photo: CFP


Carina Lau. Photo: CFP


Nick Cheung. Photo: CFP


Jacky Cheung(1st L), Karena Lam. Photo: CFP

One of the most influential film awards in Asia, the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA), however, does not seem to arouse much excitement among locals this year. 

Although the 35th award ceremony is set to be held tonight at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, there were few people beyond tourists at the center the day before. 

Located near the Victoria Harbor, a famous tourist site in Hong Kong, people were crowded outside, taking strolls, posing for pictures, or just sitting and resting. However, among all the different languages and dialects overheard from the crowd, Cantonese was rare. 

The inside of the center was fairly quiet. Though over-size posters of stars set to attend the film ceremony had been set up, they were in a corner where people would only see them if they happened to walk by. The stars in their fine suits were smiling or making cool poses, but seemed lonely due to the lack of attention.

Kevin Auo, a 30-year-old young man, stopped by the posters with his friend, but when asked if he knew when the ceremony was to be held, he replied that he had "no idea." 

"I prefer films from the West," he told the Global Times. "I feel there is nothing special about Hong Kong films and do not pay much attention to coproductions [between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland]."

A fan of actor Nick Cheung, Auo admitted that he would like to see more local productions be made but it also depended on what kind of film. "What interests me are those films discussing the future of Hong  Kong," he explained. 

Having just graduated from college, 22-year-old Wu is a loyal fan of Hong Kong films. She is one of the few people who I talked to who knew the exact time of the HKFA ceremony. Wu said she is very disappointed that the number of local productions is so small. "It is a lean period [for Hong Kong film talents]," she said.  

Also a fan of Cheung, 39-year-old Jacky Wei was spending some quiet time with his wife and 9-month-old baby outside the center. He told the Global Times that though he knew the HKFA was kicking off soon, the event was not something he talked about with his friends very often.

"It is no longer that exciting," Wei said. "It's always the same faces year after year, nothing fresh." 

 "The best Hong Kong film I like is still Infernal Affairs," Wei's wife added. 

Directed by Andrew Lau, and starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung, that franchise was released more than 10 years ago. 

"Now many coproductions are made intentionally for the market. They are not interesting anymore," she explained, referring to the very recent From Vegas to Macau III, directed by famous Hong Kong filmmakers Wong Jing and Andrew Lau. 

Wei said he likes to watch mainland productions as well. "Some period films," he said, adding that though Hark Tsui's The Taking of Tiger Mountain (a nominated film at HKFA) was well received among professionals, the story failed to catch the attention of locals who didn't know much about the battle. "I would prefer some more commonly known stories, like The Romance of the Three Kingdoms  and The Water Margin."

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