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38th Hong Kong Film Awards 2019 - Report

Andrew Chan

38th Hong Kong Film Awards 2019 - Report

Reviewed and attended by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)

Held at Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 14 April 2019

“Keep Rolling” Theme

 

One of the most refreshing aspect of this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards is the promotion of youth and the next generation of Hong Kong actors and actresses. Up with the theme of “keep rolling”, the ceremony this year is hosted by the 32 new generation next. It includes an inspiring opening performance by the 32 as well as quarter naked headshot by each of them. It’s an important gesture for the Awards as it is for the Hong Kong movie industry as opportunities are being constantly reduced and output a rarity, as we see that the light still shone brightly on the next generation. Setting the tone for the rest of the night is a much organised pairing of presenters throughout the night. Making this one of the best Hong Kong Film Awards night in years in terms of bonding and uniting for the future.

 

“Still Human” bags acting gigs

 

One of the most heartwarming and well acted local Hong Kong Film of the year is undoubtedly the well crafted “Still Human”. Newcomer director Chan Siu-Kuen won the Best New Director award in a film that tells an inspiring story between a domestic helper and a disabled elder of supporting and following dreams with a human touch. Newcomer Crisel Consunji justifiably won “Best Newcomer Award” plays the domestic helper who more than holds her own against veteran Anthony Wong. It is simply a performance that wins the hearts and mind of the audience. Perhaps the biggest bang for the buck of the night goes to Best Actor Winner Anthony Wong whose performance is not only amazing to witness, but the fact that Wong have to endure limited opportunities for more than one reason over the past 5 years. Wong shows the lion spirit of Hong Kong people and the character of always finding a way to inspire and support the next generation. This time, for the audience lost, he didn’t say much controversial comments.

 

Project Gutenberg wins most categories including Best Film and Best Director.

 

It is almost safe to say that I personally enjoyed “Project Gutenberg” as I find it a good balance between great acting from the leads Chow Yun Fat and Aaron Kwok and excellent and innovative direction and script from Felix Chong. We also get to witness the good old Chow back in 80s action frenzy and burning of US dollars. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable entertainment with all the blockbuster association. Therefore, it’s almost deserving that Director and Writer Felix Chong won both Best Director and Best Screenplay in a film that took over 10 years in the making and having an intriguing story of crime and counterfeit that somehow manages to escape Chinese censors. Chong reminded the audience this is very much a Hong Kong Movie and production. As for Best Film, in terms of the balance in budget, scale, commercial success and quality, it’s probably the safe choice to the heart winning indie and local production - “Still Human”. Industry veteran Jason Kwan deservedly wins Best Cinematography for this film.

Diversity

 

Chloe Maayan’s daring performance in Fruit Chan’s “Three Husbands” comes out as the most raw and “Cat 3” display in the hotly contested Best Actress crown. For the Best Supporting Actor, Ben Yuen Foo-Wa (“Tracey”) as the gender bending display won the juries over to upstage the scene stealing Sam Lee in “Still Human”. Ben Yuen spoke about his long road to recognition and love of acting as Hong Kong Film Awards goes “me too” as well. Kara Wai wins an award again, this time for a challenging role as the wife of a cross dressing and gender transforming character so well by Philip Keung in “Tracey”. Wai is fast becoming as regular in winnng awards as Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

 

Professional Award and Life-Time Achievement

 

Industry Icon and veteran Patrick Tse is undoubtedly the embroilment of word “cool”. It’s difficult to be cooler than Tse and for someone with over 55 years of filming experience and still going strong. Respected and may not be the best actor in everyone mind, he is simply the heartthrob, the evil grin and the perfect pose and style. The award is handed out by current HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam. As for professional spirit award goes to veteran stunt man Tau Wan Yue who have fought alongside Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Chin Ka Lok for more than 50 years. Tau shows he may not be good with words, but action over his long professional career speaks louder.

 

Pairing of Award Presenters

 

One of another delightful aspect of the awards night is the pairing of award presenters and this year’s its top-notched. Andy Lau and Song hye-Kyo provides the bling bling, the Young and Dangerous gang (Ekin Cheng, Jordon Chan, Chin Ka Lok and Jerry Lam) provides the brotherhood, likewise the potential Gen Z Cops composed of Nicolas Tse, Daniel Wu, Stephen Fung and Sam Lee is another inspired choice. Perhaps the one that got the most cheers goes to the Japanese duo from “One Cut of the Dead” zombie indie hit film with Takayuki Hamatsu and Yuzuki Akiyama.

 

Overall

 

I must admit that sometimes, Award nights can be repetitive, but this year the Association got it right, balancing youth, technology and innovative live performances bringing together a small film community to celebrate the achievements of Hong Kong movies. Perhaps the best line goes without say - “let’s keep rolling” for Hong Kong movies to stay on for generations after generations.

 

Here are the list of winners and nominees:

Best Film

Project Gutenberg <無雙>

Three Husbands <三夫>

Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>

Still Human <淪落人>

Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>

 

Best Director

Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Fruit Chan (Three Husbands <三夫>)

Dante Lam (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Sunny Chan (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Oliver Chan Siu-Kuen (Still Human <淪落人>)

 

Best Actor

Anthony Wong (Still Human <淪落人>)

Francis Ng (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Chow Yun-Fat (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Aaron Kwok (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Phillip Keung (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best Actress

Chloe Maayan (Three Husbands <三夫>)

Charlene Choi (The Lady Improper <非分熟女>)

Jennifer Yu (Distinction <非同凡響>)

Crisel Consunji (Still Human <淪落人>)

Zhang Jingchu (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

 

Best Supporting Actor

Ben Yuen Foo-Wa (Tracey <翠絲>)

Kenny Wong (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Poon Chan-Leung (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Sam Lee (Still Human <淪落人>)

Liu Kai Chi (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

 

Best Supporting Actress

Kara Wai (Tracey <翠絲>)

Huang Lu (G Affairs <G>)

Jiang Luxia (Operation Red Sea <<紅海行動>)

Jennifer Yu (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Catherine Chau (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

 

Best Screenplay

Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Chan Wai, 33, Ying Liang (A Family Tour <自由行>)

Sunny Chan (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Oliver Chan Siu-Kuen (Still Human <淪落人>)

Shu Kei, Erica Li, Jun Li (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best Cinematography

Jason Kwan (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Karl Tam (G Affairs <G>)

Choi Sung-Fai (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Fung Yuen-Man, Horace Wong (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Anthony Pun (Monster Hunt 2 <捉妖記2)

 

Best Film Editing

Curran Pang (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Barfuss Hui (G Affairs <G>)

Tsui Hark, Li Lin (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Choi Chi-Hung, Lam Chi-Hang (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Stanley Tam, Mary Stephen (Napping Kid <逆向誘拐>)

 

Best Art Direction

Eric Lam (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Cho Hwa-Sung (The Monkey King 3 <西遊記女兒國>)

Yoshihito Akatsuka, Raymond Li (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Guillaume Aretos, Lee Kin-Wai, Yohei Taneda (Monster Hunt 2 <捉妖記2>)

Irving Cheung (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best Costume & Makeup Design

Man Lim-Chung (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-Kwan (The Monkey King 3 <西遊記女兒國>)

Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-Kwan (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Yee Chung-Man (Monster Hunt 2 <捉妖記2>)

Irving Cheung (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best Action Choreography

Dante Lam (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Yuen Shun-Yi (Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy <葉問外傳:張天志>)

Lin Feng (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Li Chung-Chi (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Chin Ka-Lok, Alan Ng, Tang Sui-Wah (Golden Job <黃金兄弟>)

 

Best Original Film Score

RubberBand (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Teddy Robin Kwan, Eddie Tang (Lucid Dreams <八部半喜怒哀樂>)

Day Tai (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Chan Kwong-Wing (Golden Job <黃金兄弟>)

Otomo Yoshihide (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best Original Film Song

逆流之歌” (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Composer, Lyric & Performer: RubberBand

“Sun Shines Bright” (Distinction <非同凡響>)

Composer: Charles Lau

Lyric: Saville Chan

Performer: Jennifer Yu

“Let Us Be The One” (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

Composer: Day Tai

Lyric: Saville Chan

Performer: Jan Curious

“Together We Charge, Together We March On” (Golden Job <黃金兄弟>)

Composer: Chan Kwong-Wing

Lyric: Fiona Fung, Chan Kwong-Wing, Jeffrey Chu

Performer: Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Chin Ka-Lok, Jerry Lamb

“Tracey” (Tracey <翠絲>)

Composer, Lyric & Performer: Panther Chan

 

Best Sound Design

Nopawat Likitwong, Sarunyu Nurnsai (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Tu Duu-Chih, Wu Shu-Yao (G Affairs <G>)

Steve Burgess (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

George Lee Yiu-Keung, Yiu Chun-Hin (Monster Hunt 2 <捉妖記2>)

Dhanarat Dhitirojana, Kaikangwol Rungsakorn, Sarunyu Nurnsai (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

 

Best Visual Effects

Inho Lee, Taegyun Kang (Operation Red Sea <紅海行動>)

Jay Seung Jaegal, SungJin Jung, Juwon Lee (The Monkey King 3 <西遊記女兒國>)

Chuck Chae, Park Young-Soo, Maegawa Hideaki, Ji Myung-Goo (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings <狄仁傑之四大天王>)

Ellen Poon (Monster Hunt 2 <捉妖記2>)

Alex Lim Hung-Fung (Project Gutenberg <無雙>)

 

Best New Director

Chan Siu-Kuen (Still Human <淪落人>)

Lee Cheuk-Pan (G Affairs <G>)

Sunny Chan (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

Jeff Cheung Ka-Kit (Agent Mr Chan <棟篤特工>)

Jun Li (Tracey <翠絲>)

 

Best New Performer

Crisel Consunji (Still Human <淪落人>)

Lam Sen (G Affairs <G>)

Adam Pak (L Storm <L風暴>)

Chan Charm-Man (Three Husbands <三夫>)

Nancy Wu (Men On The Dragon <逆流大叔>)

 

Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan

Dying To Survive <我不是藥神>

Ash Is Purest White <江湖兒女>

Last Letter <你好,之華>

Hidden Man <邪不壓正>

Angels Wear White <嘉年華>

(Photo Courtesy of Hong Kong Film Awards Association)

 

 

 



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