14 Feb – For the first time since its establishment 39 years ago, the Hong Kong Film Awards may not be holding a live event this year.
As reported on Mingpao, the news was shared by HKFA president Derek Yee via a video conference with the media, saying that they are contemplating to forgo the actual award presentation in April due to the uncertainty of the situation concerning the outbreak of the COVID-19.
"For us to hold the said event, more than 400 people will need to be involved for the set building to the live presentation itself. It is too risky," he said.
Another plan is to announce the winners in May and hold the awards presentation later.
"If we are doing that, we have to let the winners know, we also have to consider the nominees' willingness. In addition, the venue may also run into difficulties. We also have to come up with ways to reduce participating workers to avoid too many people gathering in the same place. We will continue to discuss this in future meetings," he added.
At the same time, Derek admitted that they are also facing issues with voter screening as well, as both the Film Archives and the Louis Koo Theatre - where screenings of the nominated films would be held for the voters in the past - have been closed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
"We will be discussing with film companies whether they could provide videos to voters or use some kind of technology that will enable them to watch the films," he said.
Asked if the situation brought a big challenge to him, Derek said that previous president Joe Cheung had also faced similar difficulties during the SARS outbreak.
"But it went on as scheduled. The problem I face is that there are too many people in the planning stage and it's hard to get it done. We have to hold more meetings," he added.
However, Derek dismissed the idea of postponing the event to a later month like September or October, as the HKFA will be having its 40th anniversary next year, which means that they will have to start focusing on planning for the said 2021 event in advance.
(Photo Source: Mingpao)