A crime drama by three emerging directors basked in the limelight at the Hong Kong Film awards Sunday, but mainland Chinese sites reportedly blocked news of its wins following controversy last year.
The gangster thriller "Trivisa" scooped five prizes including best film and best director for Frank Hui, Jevons Au and Vicky Wong, who beat other nominated veterans like Stephen Chow and Johnnie To.
The film is set in the former British colony just before the handover to China in 1997, with a political flavour that local critics saw reflecting an anxiety over the fate of Hong Kong.
"Thanks to our two producers… I'm difficult to teach, I'm rebellious, sorry," Au said onstage alongside his co-directors.
The triumph of "Trivisa" at the awards followed the surprise success in 2016 of "Ten Years", a controversial series of five shorts that tapped into residents' worst fears for the future of the city as Beijing's grip tightens.
One of the short films featured in the dystopian project was directed by this year's winner Au.
Major Chinese TV channels pulled out from broadcasting the awards last year, with the nomination of "Ten Years" for best picture widely believed to be the reason.
This year several mainland news sites covered the awards but blocked mentions of "Trivisa", media in Hong Kong reported.
The picture also won best screenplay, best film editing and best actor for Gordon Lam.