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HONG KONG — Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame swept the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards, winning six awards from its 12 nominations, including best director for Tsui Hark, while Gallants showed its resilience by taking home best film and three other awards.
Tsui won his second best director award since Once Upon A Time in China in 1991 with the visual extravaganza, which has earned the first best actress statue for lead Carina Lau after five previous nominations in the role of the only female Chinese empress Wu Zetian, and four awards in sound design, visual effects, costume make up design, and art direction categories.
But the retro action-comedy Gallants proved to be the little film that could, walking off with the biggest award of the night. “Gallants’ spirit is the true spirit of Hong Kong film,” said producer Gordon Lam, while an exuberant Kwok proclaimed onstage the cult hit’s central message, “If you don’t fight you won’t lose, but we only fight to win!”
Made with $1 million from the pocket of Focus Films owner and acting star Andy Lau, produced by Gordon Lam and co-directed by Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng, Gallants’ cast picked from veterans of Shaw Brothers classics and 1980s actors shone. The film’s Susan Shaw Yin-yin reteamed with director Kwok to win her second best supporting actress award since her role in The Pye-Dog in 2007, while actor-musician Teddy Robin won double honor with awards for best supporting actor and best original film score, the latter with Tommy Leung Wai-kai.
Also on a roll was Nicholas Tse, who followed up his best supporting actor win last year with a best actor award for The Stool Pigeon.
The Hong Kong Film Awards celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, giving out awards in 19 competitive categories and two honorary categories.
The professional achievement award was presented to the manager to the superstars, Willie Chan, by Golden Harvest founder Raymond Chow.For over 30 years, Chan nurtured the career of Jackie Chan, and managed a list of film luminaries including Maggie Cheung, Jackie Cheung, and Daniel Wu. As a producer, Chan was behind Jackie Chan’s starring vehicles from Supercop in 1992 to Shinjuku Incident in 2009.
The lifetime achievement award was given to Terry Lai, the founder-chairman of Kadokawa Intercontinental Group, who established in 1969 the Hong Kong film distribution powerhouse. The group which now encompasses operations in foreign and local film distribution, video, advertising, video game distribution, merchandising, and the theatre chain Multiplex Cinema Ltd. Lai has also distributed Hong Kong action films to international territories, and was one of the founding members and the first chairman of the Hong Kong Motion Pictures Association.
List of awards:
Tsui Hark, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Carina Lau, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Nicholas Tse, The Stool Pigeon
Best Supporting Actress
Susan Shaw Yin-yin, Gallants
Best Supporting Actor
Teddy Robin, Gallants
Hanjin Tan, Bruce Lee My Brother
Best New Director
Felix Chong, Once a Gangster
Pang Ho-cheung & Heiward Mak, Love in a Puff
Peter Pau, Confucius
Best Film Editing
Cheung Ka-fai, Ip Man 2
Best Sound Design
Wang Danrong and Zhao Nan, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Best Visual Effects
Lee Yong Gi and Nam Sang Woo, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Best Costume Make Up Design
Bruce Yu, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Best Art Direction
James Choo, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Best Action Choreography
Sammo Hung, Ip Man 2
Best Original Film Score
Teddy Robin and Tommy Leung Wai-kai, Gallants
Best Original Film Song
Here to Stay (Jun Kung), Merry-Go-Round
Best Asian Film
Professional Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
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