Although the Hong Kong Film Awards will be celebrating 40 years in 2021, the committee officially announced that the awards presentation will be postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19. This marks the first time that the HKFA will halt its awards ceremony since its inception in 1982, and allow qualifying films released in 2020 and 2021 to compete.
The Hong Kong entertainment industry took a hard hit in 2020 because of the pandemic, halting film production, postponing theatrical releases, and severely impacting box office sales. Derek Yee (爾冬陞), Chairman of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association, expressed there is no choice left except to postpone the HKFA awards ceremony, “Fourteen of the board members said we should consult each film association before making the final decision. One of the associations wants to continue with the awards show, but I explained that there is a lot preparation that needs to be done and there is too much uncertainty right now. It’s hard to arrange for teams to work and it’s difficult to determine how to invite guests, book venues, and other miscellaneous issues. The majority of the board members voted to postpone the 40th awards ceremony, as we don’t want this special event to be haphazardly put together under the effects of COVID-19.”
While recognizing films released in 2020 and 2021 in one awards presentation may increase competitiveness, Derek Yee pointed out that this year already saw limited local releases due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, this year’s contenders may find their award chances reduced, including Gong Li‘s (鞏俐) Leap <奪冠>, Aaron Kwok’s Disconnected <斷網>, Carlos Chan’s (陳家樂) Declared Legally Dead <死因無可疑>, Stephy Tang‘s (鄧麗欣) Shadows <殘影空間>, Gordon Lam‘s (林家棟) Cigarette <手捲煙>, and Sean Lau (劉青雲) and Ni Ni’s (倪妮) Shock Wave 2 <拆彈專家2>.
Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, artistes were in favor of postponing the awards presentation. Gordon Lam said there are too many undecided factors this year and moving it until 2022 is a very reasonable choice. Stephy Tang said, “They have never postponed it before, but I completely understand their decision. The situation this year is pretty clear and movie production levels have been low–this is the only way out right now. I hope everyone can stay strong and continue fighting.”
This article is written by Su for JayneStars.com.