Project Gutenberg the big winner at HK’s Oscars as it is named best picture, with Felix Chong best director, while Anthony Wong is best actor

16-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:38 AM Print This Post

Project Gutenberg was the big winner at the 38th Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday, while Anthony Wong Chau-sang rolled back the years to claim the best actor award for a third time.

A cops-and-robbers thriller, Project Gutenberg was nominated in a near-record 17 categories and took home seven awards, including best film, and best director and best screenplay for Felix Chong Man-keung.

Wong picked up his third best actor award for his performance in Still Human, beating out Chow Yun-fat who was nominated for his part in Project Gutenberg. Wong’s triumph followed his wins in 1994 for The Untold Story, and in 1989 for Beast Cops.

There was recognition too for Chloe Maayan, who was named best actress for her role in Three Husbands, and for Crisel Consunji, who took home the award for best new performer, for her performance in Still Human.

Oliver Chan Siu-kuen was named best new director for Still Human, which tells the story of the relationship between a paralysed man, Wong, and his Filipino maid, played by Consunji.

Chong said he owed his success to a team of good actors and production team, without whose support, he said, “a director is nothing at all”.

Maayan, who put in a bold performance about a woman who lives on the sea with three husbands, said she liked the challenge the part had presented.

“I am very glad to be able to take part in the film. I like challenges. And I like to try playing different characters and characters that I didn’t try before.”

Ben Yuen, netted the best supporting actor award for his role in Tracey, while mainland film Dying to Survive won the best foreign film from the mainland and Taiwan.

Dying to Survive is a comedy drama inspired by the true story of a Chinese leukaemia patient who was arrested in 2014 for importing and selling anti-cancer drugs to patients on the mainland.

The awards saw 24 films, including five mainland or Taiwan productions, competing for honours in 19 categories.

“I am very happy and grateful,” Consunji said. “If I am given the chances, I would try to take part more in Hong Kong films.”

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Produced by Fruit Chan Gor, the film, which received eight nominations in total, explores the relationship between a paralysed man, played by Wong, and his new Filipino maid, played by Consunji, who has put her dream of becoming a photographer on hold to come to the city to earn a living. Consunji was also nominated for best actress, something she said was “really amazing”.

Veteran actress Kara Wai won best supporting actress for her role in Tracey, a film about a man who admits to himself and others he is a transgender woman.

Commanding the spotlight though was Project Gutenberg, which revolves around a counterfeit-money gang.

The film, directed by Chong, was nominated in 17 categories, only missing out in the best new performer, and best new director categories because it was not eligible.

It was also the second-most nominated film in the history of the awards, following Bodyguards and Assassins in 2009, with 18 nominations.

Chong said of the near-record nominations his film received: “It’s like we already won. Every one in the production did an excellent job.”

It began the night picking up awards in best art direction (Eric Lam), best costume and makeup design (Man Lim-chung), best film editing (Curran Pang), and best cinematography (Jason Kwan).

Men on the Dragon, which received 11 nominations, including best film, marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Sunny Chan Wing-sun. Mid-life crises are the real of focus of this comedy-drama, which follows several employees who join their company’s dragon boat team in the hope it will help them survive staff lay-offs. In the end it walked away with two awards for local musicians RubberBand, who won the award for best original song and best original score.

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Also competing for best film were Operation Red Sea, a thrilling military epic by action film maker Dante Lam Chiu-yin. The epic started well, winning best visual effects (Inho Lee), and best sound design (Nopawat Likitwong, Sarunyu Nurnsai).

Lam also won the award for best action choreography.

The annual presentation was held at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. This year’s theme was “Keep Rolling”.

“We hope those in the industry to keep up their good work and there will be new faces coming up to produce fresh and creative films for the audience and let the camera keep rolling,” said Derek Yee Tung-sing, the chair of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association.

To live up to Yee’s promises, this year’s awards featured a line-up of 32 young and upcoming actors and actresses as the masters of ceremony.

This year’s lifetime achievement award went to veteran actor Patrick Tse Yin, 82, who started his acting career since the 1950s.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made a surprise appearance to present Tse’s award.

“I watched a lot of your films when I was small,” Lam told Tse. “You deserve this prize.”

There was a professional achievement award for action choreographer Lau Wan, 70.


Best Film: Project Gutenberg

Best director: Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg)

Best Screenplay: Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg)

Best Actor: Anthony Wong (Still Human)

Best Actress: Chloe Maayan (Three Husbands)

Best Supporting Actor: Ben Yuen (Tracey)

Best Supporting Actress: Kara Wai (Tracey)

Best New Performer: Crisel Consunji (Still Human)

Best New director: Oliver Chan Siu-kuen (Still Human)

Best Cinematography: Jason Kwan (Project Gutenberg)

Best Film Editing: Curran Pang (Project Gutenberg)

Best Art Direction: Eric Lam (Project Gutenberg)

Best Costume & Makeup Design: Man Lim-chung (Project Gutenberg)

Best Action Choreography: Dante Lam (Operation Red Sea)

Best Original Film Score: RubberBand (Men on the Dragon)

Best Original Film Song: RubberBand (Men on the Dragon)

Best Sound Design: Nopawat Likitwong & Sarunyu Nurnsai (Operation Red Sea)

Best Visual Effects: Inho Lee (Operation Red Sea)

Best Film from Mainland & Taiwan: Dying to Survive

Lifetime Achievement Award: Patrick Tse Yin

Professional Achievement Award: Lau Wan


Category: Hong Kong

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