Category Archives: Hong Kong Film Awards

33rd Hong Kong Film Awards 2014 香港電影金像獎 – Winners and Nomination List and Detailed Analysis

Analysis and Coverage by: Andrew Chan AACTA FCCA FIPRESCI
Attended as guest of the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards 2014 in Hong Kong on April 13th.
Also published in various Australian and Chinese media.
Pictures are courtesy of Hong Kong Film Awards Committee.
Support our decade of film scholarship on Asian Cinema by buying Official DVD or Blu-ray release from our Store

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Its a year onwards, the annual film award event in Hong Kong is more about celebrating the achievements of the local film industry than its awards. Sure there is the glamour and excitement surrounding this event, but at its core, its about gathering the film family together like the 32 ceremonies before it.

The Grandmaster

The biggest winner of the night goes to Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Action and nearly all the technical awards. While a film of masterclass Wong Kar Wai’s quality deserved to sweep all the technicial and acting gons, the winning of Best Director and Best Picture is worthy of debate. Personally, The Grandmaster is easily the best “unfinished film” and despite its enormous effort, epic porportion and not to mention years of dedication from its cast and crew, it is far cry from his best work. Dante Lam’s “Unbeatable” and Benny Chan’s “The White Storm” may have felt short changed. Having said that Zhang Zi Yi deserved her award as she managed to overshadow the title role of Ip Man effortlessly. As much as I admire Wong Kar Wai as a director, “The Grandmaster” while an achievement in terms of style, it lacks the usual emotional core that his films usually engulf the audience. While many displayed unhappiness over Rigor Mortis numerous snub, most notably the acting gons, it may well be affected by the average direction from new director Juno Mak. “Rigor Mortis” is clearly the case where the acting and technical areas are top notched, but easily let down by a wholly average script and direction.

Nick Cheung

Nick Cheung winning Best Actor was the highlight of the show and while deserving of his award in a film where he has to battle his internal demons as well as building up into a muscle built fighter. It must not go without saying that it could well have been Nick Cheung vs Nick Cheung, if his terrific ground breaking performance in “White Storm” was actually recognised in the first place. In the Benny Chan’s film, Cheung’s scene stealing performance was precisely why the over the top twist even end up working.

The Way We Dance

A film I thoroughly enjoyed watching and perhaps the highlight of last year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival comes in the form of Best New Director Adam Wong (who made his début with the wonderful “Magic Boy” from a few years back) and Best Newcomer Babyjohn. Both deserving won their categories and in particular, Babyjohn was uprightly emotional and providing the local audience with hope and aspirations of the future of Hong Kong cinema. Quality male actors are a rare quality and leading male from the new generation is as rare as gold. I sincerely expect and hope that Babyjohn will go on and build a career from this experience. Likewise, director Adam Wong is spot-on as we eagerly awaits his next piece of cinematic showing. As for Cherry Ngan, Nick Cheung rightly claimed and encouraged her – “Wait for next time, you still need to sacrifice more years of youth for films.”

Overall improvements and thoughts

I thought the use of split screens of each Best Actor and Actress nominees as the award is announced provides some much need excitement. The use of one presenter in most important awards presentation rather than a duo to play off each other is much missed. Perhaps the Association should take a leaf out of the Oscar ceremonies in making the atmosphere more fun in the form of someone like Ellen to brighten the occasion with laughter. After all, the award show while formal, needs to be entertaining as well.

Overall, the show was less entertaining than last year’s edition and have fewer higher emotional points. Geroge Lam’s powerful singing of Wong Fei Hung is much welcomed and in the process waking up the audience and indeed the very presence of Anthony Wong opening his mouth is pure entertainment. Famed scholar Tao Kit’s presentation of an award could have been given more time, but after becoming a director himself in “Enthralled”, he somehow lost his usual extremely vocal and non-stop voice in the progress. Still, a lot of hard work and dedication is required for the annual award event to happen, especially those working behind the scenes whose efforts are often unrecognised. Maybe I am expecting too much from an award show, but expectations is a good thing and I have no doubt that next year’s Hong Kong Films Award will improve leaps and bounds. See you all next year!

Best Picture
Winner:
• The Grandmaster
Nominees:
– Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
– Unbeatable
– The Way We Dance
– The White Storm

Best Director
Winner:
• Wong Kar-Wai (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Derek Kwok Chi-Kin (As the Light Goes Out)
– Johnnie To Kei-Fung (Drug War)
– Dante Lam Chiu-Yinn (Unbeatable)
– Benny Chan Muk-Sing (The White Storm)

Best Actor
Winner:
• Nick Cheung Ka-Fai (Unbeatable)
Nominees:
– Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (The Grandmaster)
– Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (Ip Man – The Final Fight)
– Louis Koo Tin-Lok (The White Storm)
– Lau Ching-Wan (The White Storm)

Best Actress
Winner:
• Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Sammi Cheng Sau-Man (Blind Detective)
– Tang Wei (Finding Mr. Right)
– Bau Hei-Jing (Rigor Mortis)
– Cherry Ngan Cheuk-Ling (The Way We Dance)

Best Supporting Actor
Winner:
• Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Tong Dawei (American Dreams in China)
– Huang Bo (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Anthony Chan (Rigor Mortis)
– Eddie Peng Yu-Yan (Unbeatable)

Best Supporting Actress
Winner:
• Kara Hui Ying-Hung (Rigor Mortis)
Nominees:
– Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
– Kara Hui Ying-Hung (Rigor Mortis)
– Law Lan (The White Storm)
– Carina Lau Ka-Ling (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Screenplay
Winner:
• Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar-Wai (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam Oi-Wah (American Dreams in China)
– Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-Hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi (Blind Detective)
– Xue Xiaolu (Finding Mr. Right)
– Jack Ng Wai-Lun, Fung Chi Fung, Dante Lam Chiu-Yin (Unbeatable)

Winner:
• Babyjohn Choi (The Way We Dance)
Nominees:
– Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
– Fish Liew (Doomsday Party)
– Angel Chiang Ka-Man (A Secret Between Us)
– Lin Gengxin (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Cinematography
Winner:
• Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Jason Kwan Chi-Yiu (As the Light Goes Out)
– Ng Kai-Ming (Rigor Mortis)
– Kenny Tse Chung-To (Unbeatable)
– Anthony Pun Yiu-Ming (The White Storm)

Best Editing
Winner:
• William Cheung Suk-Ping, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung-Yiu (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Wong Hoi (As the Light Goes Out)
– Kwong Chi-Leung, Ron Chan (Firestorm)
– Azrael Chung Wai-Chiu (Unbeatable)
– Yau Chi-Wai (The White Storm)

Best Art Direction
Winner:
• William Cheung Suk-Ping, Alfred Yau Wai-Ming (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Eric Lam (As the Light Goes Out)
– Eric Lam (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Irving Cheung (Rigor Mortis)
– Ken Mak (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Costume & Make-Up Design
Winner:
• William Cheung Suk-Ping (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Dora Ng Lei-Lo (American Dreams in China)
– Bruce Yu Ka-On, Lee Pik-Kwan (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
– Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Kittichon Kunratchol (Rigor Mortis)
– Bruce Yu Ka-On, Lee Pik-Kwan (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Action Choreography
Winner:
• Yuen Woo-Ping (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Chin Kar-Lok (Firestorm)
– Ling Chi-Wah (Unbeatable)
– Yuen Bun (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Original Film Score
Winner:
• Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Teddy Robin, Tommy Wai (As the Light Goes Out)
– Henry Lai (Unbeatable)
– Day Tai, Afuc Chan (The Way We Dance)
– Kenji Kawai (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Original Song
Winner:
• 狂舞吧 (from The Way We Dance)
Composer: Day Tai
Lyrics: Saville Chan
Performer: DoughBoy, Shimica Wong
Nominees:
– 愛最大 (As the Light Goes Out)
Composer: Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung
Lyrics: Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung, Qiao Xing,
Kit@24 Herbs, Phat@24 Herbs
Performer: Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung, 24 Herbs
– Love is Blind (from Blind Detective)
Composer: Hal Foxton Beckett, Marc Baril
Lyrics: Lam Jik
Performer: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Sammi Cheng Sau-Man
– 心照一生 (from The White Storm)
Composer: RubberBand
Lyrics: RubberBand、Tim Lui
Performer: RubberBand
– 新秩序 (from Young And Dangerous: Reloaded)
Composer: Paul Wong Koon-Chung
Lyrics: Paul Wong Koon-Chung
Performer: Paul Wong Koon-Chung

Best Sound Design
Winner:
• Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon (The Grandmaster)
Nominees:
– Phyllis Cheng (As the Light Goes Out)
– Benny Chu, Steve Miller (Rigor Mortis)
– Phyllis Cheng (Unbeatable)
– Kinson Tsang King-Cheung Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Visual Effects
Winner:
• Enoch Chan (Rigor Mortis)
Nominees:
– Henri Wong, Hugo Kwan, Walter Wong (As the Light Goes Out)
– Yee Kwok-Leung, Lai Man-Chun, Ho Kwan-Yeung, Garrett K. Lam (Firestorm)
– Pierre Buffin (The Grandmaster)
– Wook Kim (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon)

Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan
Winner:
• So Young (CHINA)
Nominees:
– The Last Supper (CHINA)
– Lost In Thailand (CHINA)
– Rock Me To The Moon (TAIWAN)
– Touch Of The Light (TAIWAN)

Best New Director
Winner:
• Adam Wong Sau-Ping (The Way We Dance)
Nominees:
– Alan Yuen Kam-Lun (Firestorm)
– Juno Mak Chun-Lung (Rigor Mortis)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner:
• Zhang Xin-Yan (director, producer)

Support our decade of film scholarship on Asian Cinema by buying Official DVD or Blu-ray release from our Store

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32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 香港電影金像獎 – Winners and Nomination List and Detailed Analysis

Analysis and Coverage by: Andrew Chan AACTA FCCA FIPRESCI
Attended as guest of the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 in Hong Kong on April 13th.
Also published in various Australian and Chinese media.

The 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 was held on the 13 April 2013 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. What impressed me about the event is the audience are kept mostly entertained for the entire duration, whether it is the singing acts in between or the in-jokes cracked by the various presenters. It is usually the highlight of the annual film award show in Hong Kong.

COLD WAR

This year’s biggest winner remains the highly overrated “COLD WAR“, winning in 9 categories, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Newcomer and Best Screenplay. “COLD WAR” isn’t a bad film, but it is at best an average film event that is done on a larger scale. The first half of the film is certainly stunning as wall to wall tension is constantly built, however, the film fails miserably in the second half as everything seems to point to an inevitable sequel. Still, Tony Leung Ka Fai is fully justified in receiving the Best Actor award as his menacing and controlling performance is second to none and is at his expressive best. A deserved 4th Best Actor crown for a true veteran of Hong Kong cinema. With that being said, multiple award winners Longman Leung and Sunny Luk does craft a wonderful script, but the film suffers from rather average direction and overall pacing issues. Another aspect worthy of debate is the terrible performance by Best Newcomer Alex Tsui, who looks nothing like an ICAC commissioner, despite being one himself in his other lifetime. It is shame as there are others far more worthy contenders in that category.

VULGARIA

The other big winner of the night, is one of my favourite Hong Kong movies of 2012, “VULGARIA“. Ronald Cheng deservedly steals in show in “VULGARIA” as the lavish mainlander with a definite odd taste for food, women and the star of the show – Donkey. Cheng won the Best Supporting Actor award as he tells of his former life as spoil brat and how Andy Lau’s words of wisdom made him a changed man. A wonderfully timed emotional moment for both Cheng and the crowd. The biggest surprise of the night goes to winner of Best Supporting Actress, Dada Chen, who gracefully accepts the award. It is certainly Chen’s best performance, if you count “LAN KWAI FONG”, as she is able to engage the audience with laughter and provides an adequate chemistry with co-star Chapman To, which in turn is the driving force to the success of “VULGARIA“. However, I stand by my words, Chen does adequately without being entirely successful, and could have expressed more from her character rather than being one dimensional. Still, I am sure Chen with the encouragement of the award will continue to strife for better things and improvement.

Pang Ho Cheung / Miriam Yeung

While Pang Ho Cheung didn’t win any awards directly, both his films “VULGARIA” and “LOVE IN THE BUFF” featured heavily in almost all the major acting dons, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Miriam Yeung is a bit of a dark horse, while her performance is certainly natural and have shown improvements from her numerous romantic comedy roles, there was a striking lack of chemistry between Shawn Yue and Yeung. While “LOVE IN THE BUFF” is easily a good film, I thought mainland actress Mini Yang flairs just as well comparatively, if not better. However, Yang is not nominated in any category this year. Nothing can be taken away from what Yeung is able to achieve and like how she puts it herself “many people may not consider this to be my best performance, but I know I will continue to improve to that level.” Still, the award is probably deserved as she is the only nominated role that clearly portrays a highly local Hong Kong female character in the most natural manner. Although many will argue that Sammi Cheng is unlucky not to win the award, as she was almost flawless in “ROMANCING IN THIN AIR“.

Jacky Cheung singing
The highlight of the night goes to Jacky Cheung, who clearly sang the roof off in his rendition for “THE LAST TYCOON“. His ability to draw the crowd in and climax at the most crucial moments is one of the reason why Cheung remains the best singer of the four heavenly kings. Another high point goes to Anthony Wong’s series of remembrance after a decade of the late Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui.

Overall, Hong Kong Film Awards Association should be complimented for putting on a good show as the audience is constantly entertained and the presenters selection is pretty much spot on. As for the awards, it always open to debate and I am sure they have good reasons for winners of every category, even if you don’t entirely agree. Once again, congratulation to all the winners of the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 and see you all next year.

*Winners in BOLD

Best Picture
Vulgaria <低俗喜劇>
Motorway <車手>
The Bullet Vanishes <消失的子彈>
The Viral Factor <逆戰>
Cold War <寒戰>

Best Director
Cheang Pou Soi (Motorway)
Pang Ho Cheung (Love in the Buff)
Law Chi Leung (The Bullet Vanishes)
Dante Lam (The Viral Factor)
Longman Leung and Sunny Luk (Cold War)

Best Screenplay
Pang Ho Cheung, Luk Yee Sum, and Lam Chiu Wing (Vulgaria)
Pang Ho Cheung, Luk Yee Sum (Love in the Buff)
Law Chi Leung, Yeung Sin Ling (The Bullet Vanishes)
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk (Cold War)
Alan Mak and Felix Chong (The Silent War)

Best Actor
Nick Cheung (Nightfall)
Chapman To (Vulgaria)
Sean Lau (The Bullet Vanishes)
Tony Leung Ka Fai (Cold War)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai (The Silent War)

Best Actress
Zhou Xun (The Great Magician)
Miriam Yeung (Love in the Buff)
Sammi Cheng (Romancing in Thin Air)
Elanne Kong (Love Lifting)
Zhou Xun (The Silent War)

Best Supporting Actor
Ronald Cheng (Vulgaria)
Liu Kai Chi (The Bullet Vanishes)
Gordon Lam (Cold War)
Chapman To (Diva)
Alex Man (The Bounty)

Best Supporting Actress
Susan Shaw (Vulgaria)
Dada Chen (Vulgaria)
Jiang Yiyan (The Bullet Vanishes)
Elaine Jin (The Viral Factor)
Mavis Fan (The Silent War)

Best New Performer
Zhang Lanxin (CZ12)
Joyce Feng (The Last Tycoon)
Jayden Yuan (Tai Chi 0)
Alex Tsui (Cold War)
Sammy Sum (Lan Kwai Fong 2)

Best Cinematography
Andrew Lau and Jason Kwan (The Last Tycoon)
Chan Chi Ying (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kenny Tse (The Viral Factor)
Jason Kwan and Kenny Tse (Cold War)
Anthony Pun (The Silent War)

Best Editing
Yau Chi Wai (CZ12)
David Richardson and Allen Leung (Motorway)
Chung Wai Chiu (The Viral Factor)
Kwong Chi Leung and Ron Chan (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kwong Chi Leung and Wong Hoi (Cold War)

Best Art Direction
Yee Chung Man and Eric Lam (The Last Tycoon)
Yip Kam Tim (Tai Chi 0)
Lau Sai Wan (The Guillotines)
Silver Cheung and Lee Kin Wai (The Bullet Vanishes)
Man Lim Chung (The Silent War)

Best Costume Design and Make-Up
Yee Chung Man and Jessie Dai (The Great Magician)
Yip Kam Tim (Tai Chi 0)
Dora Ng (The Guillotines)
Stanley Cheung (The Bullet Vanishes)
Man Lim Chung (The Silent War)

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan and He Jun (Chinese Zodiac)
Sammo Hung (Tai Chi 0)
Chin Ka Lok and Wong Wai Fai, Ng Hoi Tong (Motorway)
Dante Lam, Chin Ka Lok, Wong Wai Fai, Ng Hoi Tong (The Viral Factor)
Chin Ka Lok and Wong Wai Fai (Cold War)

Best Original Film Score
Chan Kwong Wing and Yu Peng (The Last Tycoon)
Teddy Robin and Tommy Wai (The Bullet Vanishes)
Peter Kam (Cold War)
Eman Lam and Veronica Lee (Diva)
Chan Kwong Wing (The Silent War)

Best Original Song
定風波 (from The Last Tycoon)
刀鋒偏冷 (from The Guillotines)
DoReMi (from Romancing in Thin Air)
戀無可戀 (from Lan Kwai Fong 2)
追風箏的風箏 (from Diva)

Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang (The Guillotines)
Benny Chu and Steve Miller (Motorway)
Phyllis Cheng (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kinson Tsang (The Viral Factor)
Kinson Tsang (Cold War)

Best Visual Effects
Han Young Woo, Victor Wong, Patrick Chui, and Seong Ho Jang (CZ12)
Chas Chau, Kim Ho, Ng Yuen Fai, and A Law (Tai Chi 0)
Victor Wong (The Guillotines)
Law Wai Ho and Hellowing Cheung (Motorway)
Cecil Cheng (Cold War)

Best New Director
Chow Hin Yeung (Nightfall)
Brian Tse (McDull: The Pork of Music)
Fung Chih Chiang (The Bounty)

Best Film of Mainland and Taiwan
Back to 1942 <一九四二>
Gf*Bf <女朋友。男朋友>
Love is Not Blind <失戀33天>
Painted Skin: The Resurrection <畫皮II>
Love <愛Love>