Los Angeles, United States, March 29 (efe-epa).- This year’s Oscars gala will not be broadcast in Hong Kong for the first time in more than 50 years, despite the territory competing in the best international film category for “Better Days” and another short film candidate reviewing 2019’s anti-government protests.
In a Monday statement by Hollywood press, TVB channel said it would not broadcast the ceremony as it has been doing since 1969, a decision that it said was “purely commercial” but coincides with the Chinese government’s censorship of the “Do Not Split” short.
In early March, China asked local media to offer minimal coverage of the upcoming Oscars “in order to avoid embarrassment and for the sake of political correctness,” Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported.
However, TVB channel, the financial hub’s most important private television channel, enjoys more autonomy than the rest of China since it is a private company in which the government has only been a partial shareholder since 2015.
The 36-minute film is up for the award for best short documentary, which will be announced on Apr. 25.
The documentary, directed and produced by Anders Hammer, follows demonstrators’ perspective of the semi-autonomous territory’s 2019 pro-democracy protests, which ended in violent confrontations with police.
Additionally, “Nomadland,” directed by Chinese-American Chloe Zhao (also nominated for best director) will compete in the best film category. Zhao was first a source of pride in China as the first Asian to be awarded the prize for best director at the Golden Globes.
However, euphoria turned to anger among some Chinese netizens shortly after, when it was revealed that Zhao had said in a 2013 interview that China is “a place where there are lies everywhere,” making the premiere of her film in the country doubtful. EFE-EPA