Ten Years wins Best Film: 35th annual Hong Kong Film Awards winners
Originally published at the South China Morning Post on April 3, 2016.
By Jessie Lau and Sidney Leng
The 35th annual Hong Kong Film Awards brought a spectacular mix of youth, beauty, wisdom, wit and potential controversy, with the controversial independent film Ten Years taking out the Best Film award.
“This award shows that Hong Kong actually has hope. This award tells us that we need to keep working hard,” said executive producer Andrew Choi. He singled out viewers in Hong Kong, saying: “This award belongs to you all.”
Watch: Controversial Hong Kong movie Ten Years wins Best Film award
Their post-award ceremony press conference addressed the issue of their film being banned in mainland China, saying simply: “Our film is for Hong Kongers. There are places where the film is welcome and places where it’s not.”
In Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Oscars, 22 awards were handed out in separate categories.
Newcomer Michael Ning claimed both the Best New Talent and Best Supporting Actor award for his role in the murder mystery Port of Call.
The front-runner for best actor was industry veteran Aaron Kwok Fu-shing, for his portrayal of a hardened detective in Port of Call. The film was named Best Picture by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society last year.
Upon winning the award, Kwok told a press conference “I’m really happy, I never thought [I’d win] so I didn’t even really prepare before I went on stage. During this process there were many challenges. To get this today is a huge source of encouragement. In the future I’d like to try be a director. Thanks to everyone I’ve worked with in the past. All my past efforts have shaped me. I hope to share this with my mum. She’s getting old.”
Leading the race for best actress was Miriam Yeung Chin-wah, who was nominated for her role in Little Big Master, an uplifting film depicting the story of a woman who saved a kindergarten school from closure.
Audible gasps were heard around the room as the 23 year old Jessie Li was given the honour for her role in Port of Call.
“This was my first movie. Thank you so much,” she said in a press conference following the ceremony. “I was so nervous.”
Much attention was centred around the nomination of the film Ten Years, the hugely popular dystopian film made in Hong Kong which has raised the ire of mainland authorities and pro-Beijing media for its depiction of Hong Kong’s social and political future in the year 2025.
Earlier in the evening the film’s directors had been asked what their hopes of winning were for Best Film.
“It’s a real surprise actually [to be nominated],” said Kwok Zung, who directed the first part of the film and attended the award ceremony for the first time. “In the beginning, we couldn’t imagine we could get this film screened at theatres. Now we are at the ceremony. It’s way too far beyond my imagination.”
Ten Years was nominated for Best Film alongside Ip Man 3, Port of Call, Little Big Master and The Taking of Tiger Mountain.
“Honestly, in terms of production and artistically, our film is not so qualified as other nominees [for best film], but the meaning of our film is bigger than then film itself,” he said after walking the red carpet at the Cultural Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui.
SCMP reporter Jessie Lau was on the scene, updating live via Twitter.
The nominees ... and the winners
Little Big Master
The Taking of Tiger Mountain
Ip Man 3
Port of Call
And the winner is ... Ten Years
Andy Lau Tak Wah
Nick Cheung Ka Fai
Tony Leung Ka Fai
And the winner is ... Aaron Kwok
And the winner is ... Jessie Li
Adrian Kwan Shun-fair, Little Big Master
Derek Yee Tung-sing, I Am Somebody
Tsui Hark, The Taking of Tiger Mountain
Yip Wai-shun, Ip Man 3
Philip Yung Tsz-kwong, Port of Call
And the winner is ... Tsui Hark
Best supporting actor
Andrew Lam Man-chung, Full Strike
Louis Cheung Kai-chung, Keeper of Darkness
Max Zhang Jin, SPL2: A Time for Consequences
Max Zhang Jin, Ip Man 3
Michael Ning, Port of Call
And the winner is ... Michael Ning
Best supporting actress
Qin Hailu, A Tale of Three Cities
Anna Ng Yuen-yee, Little Big Master
Janice Man Wing-shan, Helios
Lee Sinje, Murmur of the Hearts
Elaine Jin Yan-ling, Port of Call
And the winner is ... Elaine Jin Yan-ling
Best new director
Nick Cheung Ka-fai, Keeper of Darkness
Raman Hui Shing-ngai, Monster Hunt
Lau Ho-leung, Two Thumbs Up
And the winner is ... Raman Hui Shing-ngai
Best film from mainland China and Taiwan
Mountains May Depart
And the winner is... The Assassin