Chinese broadcaster CCTV and leading portal Tencent have pulled out of showing this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, which includes controversial drama Ten Years among the best picture nominees.
Both media outlets notified the Hong Kong Film Awards Association over the weekend that they would not be broadcasting the event, scheduled to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 3.
State-owned broadcaster CCTV has broadcast a replay of the awards since 1991, while privately-owned portal Tencent has an on-going contract to live stream the event.
Their decision is understood to be in response to the inclusion of Hong Kong sleeper hit Ten Years among the best picture nominees.
The political drama comprises five short films exploring how life in Hong Kong may have changed under mainland China’s influence by the year 2025. Directed by five different filmmakers, the five shorts examine the potential loss of human rights and political freedoms.
Produced on an ultra low budget, the film touched a chord with Hong Kong audiences and grossed just under $1m, despite only being screened in a couple of cinemas.
Ten Years is nominated for best picture alongside Little Big Master, The Taking Of Tiger Mountain, Ip Man 3 and Port Of Call.
Local press also speculated that Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards may face a similar mainland ban following the recent election of Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, as Taiwan’s president.
However, Golden Horse organsisers told the South China Morning Post that a three-year contract with Sina.com has come to an end and negotiations are on-going with mainland media portals.