June 13, 2024

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The Federation Of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong has issued a statement to confirm that Hong Kong’s official Oscars submission, A Light Never Goes Out, has been disqualified from the race. 

However, speaking to Deadline, the Federation and the producers of the film say they still haven’t been given the reason for the decision.

Comprising leading Hong Kong industry figures, the Federation is responsible for selecting Hong Kong’s submission to the Oscar’s Best International Feature category. A translation of the Chinese-language statement reads: 

“The new selection committee of the Federation Of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong Limited selected A Light Never Goes Out to represent Hong Kong in the 96th Academy Awards for Best International Film and undergoes a fair system that is based on the established procedures in the past. 

“However, we received notice that, unfortunately, A Light Never Goes Out failed to continue the journey. Now, the Federation is communicating with the Academy about the reason for the rejection. A Light Never Goes Out was voted for by most of the selection committee and was highly anticipated. It’s such a pity that it failed to continue the race. This event is rare and regrettable.”

Speculation about the decision started to build on local social media over the weekend after AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) issued a list of the 88 films that are eligible for the Best International Feature category – with Hong Kong obviously absent. 

Directed by Anastasia Tsang, A Light Never Goes Out revolves around one woman’s plight to save her deceased husband’s legacy in making neon signs, which once defined the cityscape of Hong Kong. The cast of the film includes Sylvia Chang, Simon Yam, Henick Chou and Cecilia Choi. 

The independently produced film recently received a North American theatrical release through Orchid Tree Media and has screened at festivals including Asian World Film Festival in Culver City and the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Previous Hong Kong submissions to the Oscars’ Best International Feature category have included Philip Yung’s Where The Wind Blows, Jimmy Wan’s Zero To Hero and Derek Tsang’s Better Days, with the latter film making it through to the final five nominated films. 

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