There will certainly be a number of films to come out of the Edward Snowden affair. I’m not certain that his story provides enough drama for the big screen, but certainly a made-for-television production or eight will find its way to living rooms somewhere. Now, if he were to make it to Ecuador causing the United States to send in a black-op team that starts a continental conflict on par with the Falkland Islands escapade, well then the big screen it is.
Presently, the only big screen possibilities are limited to a sequel of The Terminal with Tom Hanks if this guy spends anymore time just hanging out in the international terminal of a Moscow airport.
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However, for those looking for a 5-minute piece on the search for Edward Snowden in Hong Kong you needn’t look any further than YouTube where a group of young Hong Kong film aficionados have posted their film, Verax.
Edward Snowden’s Film Viewers
Somewhat surprisingly given the timely release of their film and its length, it has, at least on YouTube, only seen 5,000 viewings since it was released on Wednesday.
“We shot it very bare bones, with a guerrilla mentality,” says Edwin Lee, who spearheaded the project with the help of Jeff Floro, Shawn Tse and Marcus Tsui. All but Mr. Lee, who works as a cinematographer and editor, have day jobs outside the movie industry.
The group called on their friends with varying levels of acting experience. Varying is being generous, the cast seems to have acting experience and skill somewhere between little and none.
What is quite surprising was their ability to find someone in the limited time they had that actually looks a lot like Edward Snowden. A lot. Snowden is played by Andrew Cromeek, an American school teacher in Hong Kong.
The film revolves around the CIA’s attempts to find Edward Snowden at the same time as reporters and Hong Kong officials join the hunt. It’s not horrible, and shows a reasonable amount of professional quality.
The four film enthusiasts haven’t yet had time to add up all the costs, but they figure the budget came to roughly 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$641), a third of which went for a night’s stay at the Mira, the hotel where Mr. Snowden stayed for part of his time in Hong Kong and where the filmmakers shot some scenes.
In a money obsessed culture, it’s quite refreshing to see people willing to lose some money and time to put something out there.