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Screening of short film pulled from local film festival after failing to get censors’ approval

Screening of short film pulled from local film festival after failing to get censors’ approval

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The screening of an independent short film Wake In Silence (於是我安靜了has been pulled from a local film festival after it failed to gain approval the local film censors.

According to its official Facebook page, independent short film producer Phone Made Good Film (豐美股肥) said on 21 April that the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) had refused to issue a permit for the scheduled screening of Wake In Silence as a few shots were “potentially seditious intent.” A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw that one of the scenes features a flag with the words “100% freedom”. The flag was launched in 2019 by the disbanded pro-democracy political organisation Demosisto (香港眾志) and was being sold in the Lunar New Year Fair.

Phone Made Good Film was thentold to modify the relevant scenes before re-submitting them for inspection. The filmmakers then used computer graphics to replace the original "100% freedom" flag with National Security Education Day’s poster, which was printed with the slogan “國家安全 護我家園” and submitted the revised version. However the censors said they were required to seek approval to use the national security flag from corresponding departments. The film revolves around a girl and her boyfriend have to part since he is leaving Hong Kong for good.

phone made good film fb cap

In fact, this is the second time Phone Made Good Film got rejected by authorities to show their films in public. According to Ming Pao, the filmmaker group originally submitted 11 short films to OFNAA in January, including two films namely "To the other side" () and "It Happened One Night" (股肥肆仆街). "To the other side" is a 16-minute short film revolving around the Covid patients being sent to the mobile cabin hospital to undergo compulsory quarantine. "It Happened One Night", premiered on 31 October 2022, features four independent directors smoking marijuana in search of creative inspiration. In the end, some died and some survived.

However, "It Happened One Night" was suspected of beautifying the behaviour of smoking marijuana, and some of the remarks made by the characters imply that the situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated after the handover, according to the report. The two films were also accused of arousing audiences' dissatisfaction or hatred towards the Hong Kong government, as such their release would be detrimental to national security.

OFNAA said in an email reply to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that would not comment on the application or censorship decision of individual films.

Related articles:

Winnie The Pooh horror film pulled from HK and Macau cinemas
Hong Kong director Mabel Cheung’s documentary suspended amid complaints over public screening
The Grounds scraps Batman movie screening due to inappropriate level of violence

 

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