Four Hong Kong friends have beaten Hollywood to the draw by producing the first film on former US intelligence technician Edward Snowden, the makers of the movie said on Saturday.
“To be the first one to really do anything about it...it was quite invigorating,” cinematographer and editor Edwin Lee said of the five- minute YouTube video entitled Verax.
The film imagines the drama that unfolded in Hong Kong leading up to Snowden’s bombshell interview with British newspaper the Guardian, using local actors and shaky camera work reminiscent of the Bourne movie series.
The Guardian, along with the Washington Post, published information provided by Snowden about vast surveillance programs run by the US’ National Security Agency to gather Internet data and phone logs.
“This is a spy movie that’s developing,” Lee said of the inspiration behind the idea.
The expatriates from Ireland, Australia, the US and Canada, made the film “to catch onto the interest on Snowden and the attention on Hong Kong,” Lee said.
Production took place at breakneck pace as drama, diplomatic intrigue and tensions around Snowden unfolded in the territory.
Snowden flew on Sunday last week from Hong Kong, where he had been holed up since May 20, to Moscow, despite Washington having requested his arrest and extradition. The Kremlin says Snowden has been in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport since he arrived.