Fai Wan & Robin Barnwell

The Battle for Hong Kong
Commissioned by Channel 4
Watch the full film here

Entry details.

Filmed over several months on the violent frontline of Hong Kong’s street protests, this is the compelling and emotional story of how the lives of five young activists were changed forever as they fight for their city’s special freedoms and democracy. As the conflict with the Hong Kong police spirals, this film follows protesters as they move from peaceful demonstrations to Molotov cocktails and bows and arrows in their battle against China.

Watch the full piece here.


Fai Wan has been working as an independent filmmaker for seven years, focusing on short films and character-based documentaries. His focus is often his home city of Hong Kong, which he is worried is slowly losing its special freedoms and values that separate it from mainland China. He also works on commercial productions, but in his little spare time, he is currently finishing a documentary about Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement following the Umbrella Movement and the most recent events, including the mass protests that started in the summer of 2019. During this time, he started filming ferociously documenting police violence and the crackdown on the protest movement.

Robin Barnwell is an award-winning shooting Producer/Director and has made over 50 documentaries for BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and PBS in more than 60 countries around the world, in some of the most challenging and hostile locations on the planet. He is a highly experienced journalist with skills for working in factual television: editorial accuracy, storytelling and building relationships with people. Recently, Robin has directed and produced sensitive and hard-hitting films about China. These include the BAFTA-winning and RTS-nominated Undercover: Inside China’s Digital Gulag (2019) for ITV Exposure, as well as China Undercover for PBS FRONTLINE (2020).

Read Aleksha McLoughlin and Nadia Leigh-Hewitson’s profile on Fai and Robin here.

Judges comments.

“Beautifully shot and edited, and with unique access to the inside battle for Hong Kong, this is a compelling account of some of the most intense clashes the city has ever seen – and their impact on five lives that are changed for ever.”

Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs Jury