raging fire, starring and produced by Donnie Yen, picked up Best Picture and Best Director for late action maestro Benny Chan at the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) on Sunday night. The ceremony took place at the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, the first time it has been held as a full-fledged in-person event since 2019.
Produced by Emperor Motion Pictures, raging fire was a rare pandemic-era hit in Hong Kong and China last year, and hailed as a welcome return to old-school Hong Kong-style action movies. The film won four awards in total, including Best Editing (Curran Pang) and Best Action Choreography (Donnie Yen, Ku Huen Chiu, Tanigaki Kenji, Li Chung Chi).
Benny Chan, one of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed action directors, was diagnosed with cancer while filming the film, which led to Yen taking over during post-production. In an emotional moment at the HKFA ceremony, Hong Kong star Andy Lau read an acceptance speech from Chan’s widow.
Whereas raging fire won two of the top prizes, AnitaEdko Films’ biopic about canto-pop diva Anita Mui, was the biggest winner overall, taking home five awards, including Best New Performer for model-turned-actress Louise Wong, who played Mui, and the Best Supporting Actress for Fish Liew, who played her. sister.
The film, which recreated Hong Kong from the 1980s to Mui’s death in 2003, also won three technical awards, including Best Visual Effects (Yee Kwok Leung, Garrett K Lam, Raymond Leung Wai Man, Hung Man Shi Candy ), Best Costume and Direction. -up design (Dora Ng, Karen Yip) and best sound design (Tu Duu-Chih, Wu Shu-Yao).
Best Actress went to Cya Liu for her role in Soi Cheang Limbo, which won four awards in total, including Best Screenplay (Au Kin Yee, Shum Kwan Sin), Best Cinematography (Cheng Siu Keung), and Best Art Direction (Kenneth Mak, Renee Wong). The dark action drama, produced by Sun Entertainment Culture, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2021.
Best Actor went to Patrick Tse for his role as a retired assassin in Tsz Pun Ko’s Time. Best Supporting Actor went to 17-year-old Fung Ho Yeung for zero to herowhich was Hong Kong’s entry for Best International Feature at the Oscars this year.
Kin Long Chan was named best new director for a neo-noir crime drama hand rolled cigarettesupported by the Hong Kong government’s First Feature Film Initiative.
Best Original Movie Song was presented to Origin of timefrom the movie A second championwhile Ryuichi Sakamoto won Best Original Film Score for Ann Hui’s love after love.
The prize for the best Chinese-language Asian film went to the Taiwanese production american girlwith director Fiona Ruan Fengyi present to receive the award after going through Hong Kong’s infamous week-long hotel quarantine.
Michael Hui, actor, comedian, screenwriter and director who, along with his brothers, dominated Hong Kong’s film industry in the 1970s and 1980s, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Professional Excellence Award went to veteran editor Tony Chow, who ran the editing department at 1980s production powerhouse Cinema City and won a string of editing awards during his career.
It was an unusual edition of the awards as the nominees were selected from two years of releases, mainly due to the pandemic, which has drastically reduced the number of Hong Kong films arriving in cinemas over the past few years. last years. The awards usually take place in April but, with this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival, have been forced to postpone.
Hong Kong theaters have suffered several waves of closures during the pandemic, the most recent of which lasted from January to April 2022, due to the most severe virus outbreak. The local industry is also grappling with a new censorship regime, following Beijing’s imposition of the national security law, with some filmmakers choosing to leave the city.
However, there are signs of renewal for Hong Kong cinema with a long-delayed comedy Chilli Laugh Story breaking the $1.3 million (HK$10 million) mark at the local box office this week, and a big-budget sci-fi movie Future Warriors scheduled for release in August.