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Soul Mate on Wednesday led the Hong Kong Film Awards nominations with 12, including best film, director and actress mentions for both of its female leads, Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun.
The romantic drama about a pair of best friends in love with the same young man was produced by Peter Chan and helmed by Derek Tsang, son of multihyphenate Eric Tsang, who also was nominated in the best supporting actor category for his performance in Mad World.
Megastar Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, the top-grossing film in China ever, followed with eight nominations, including for best film and best original song, which was written by Chow and contains only eight lines of lyrics.
The blockbuster Cold War II, the highest-grossing Chinese-language film in Hong Kong, was also in the running for best film, alongside Trivisa, produced by auteur Johnnie To, and Weeds on Fire, a winner of the Hong Kong government’s First Film Initiative and made for merely HK$2 million ($257,000).
The best director category is a race between Chow; Tsang (who was also nominated in the best new director category); Johnnie To for hospital thriller Three; first-time helmer Wong Chun for Mad World (another First Film Initiative production); and Trivisa‘s Frank Hui, Vicky Wong and Jevons Au (who won best film honors with the controversial Ten Years with four other directors last year).
Shawn Yue, who delivered a breakthrough performance as a bipolar disorder sufferer in Mad World, was nominated in the best actor category and will compete against four-time best actor winner Tony Leung Ka-Fai, nominated for his role in Cold War II; Francis Ng, for Shed Skin Papa; and Richie Jen and Gordon Lam, both of Trivisa.
In addition to the two leads in Soul Mate, the best actress nominees also include Show Me Your Love‘s Nina Paw, Book of Love‘s Tang Wei and two-time best actress winner Kara Wai for Happiness.
The Hong Kong Film Awards voting procedure was disputed last year after political drama Ten Years won best film honors. The Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA) proposed a motion for amendment, but the Hong Kong Film Awards Association deemed the process sound and has decided to continue it.
The 36th Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony is set to be held April 9.
A list of nominees follows.
Cold War II
Weeds on Fire
Wong Chun, Mad World
Derek Tsang, Soul Mate
Johnnie To, Three
Stephen Chow, The Mermaid
Frank Hui, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong, Trivisa
Shawn Yue, Mad World
Francis Ng, Shed Skin Papa
Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Cold War II
Richie Jen, Trivisa
Gordon Lam, Trivisa
Zhou Dongyu, Soul Mate
Ma Sichun, Soul Mate
Nina Paw, Show Me Your Love
Tang Wei, Book of Love
Kara Wai, Happiness
Best Supporting Actor
Eric Tsang, Mad World
Paul Chin, Book of Love
Ng Mang Tat, The Menu
Philip Keung, Trivisa
Liu Kai Chi, Weeds on Fire
Best Supporting Actress
Charmaine Fong, Mad World
Elaine Jin, Mad World
Zhang Yu Qi, The Mermaid
Fish Lew, Sisterhood
Janice Man, Cold War II
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