Awards fever hits Hong Kong again, as the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards will be held this Sunday night. We look at who's tipped to win and other snippets about the event that honours the best of Hong Kong cinema.
All the buzz has it that Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi will be the frontrunner for the Best Actress award for her role as gongfu expert Gong Er in Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster. For the same role, she has already snagged Best Actress wins at the prestigious Golden Horse Awards in Taipei as well as at the Asia Pacific Film Festival in Macau.
Up against her in the same category are actresses Sammi Cheng for Blind Detective, Paw Hee Ching for Rigor Mortis, Tang Wei for Finding Mr. Right and Cherry Ngan for The Way We Dance.
The competition is much fiercer in the Best Actor category, and while Nick Cheung is a hot favourite for his body-transforming role as a boxer in sports drama Unbeatable, there is a good chance that any of the other actors could take the prize home too. Also in the running are Louis Koo and Sean Lau Ching Wan, both for action flick The White Storm, as well as two actors who portrayed martial arts legend Ip Man in two different movies: Tony Leung Chiu Wai in The Grandmaster, and Anthony Wong in Ip Man: The Final Fight.
Wong Kar Wai's moody martial arts flick has the most number of nominations with 14, including for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress and Best Picture and Best Cinematography. But looking at other major awards shows in the past year, The Grandmaster rarely walked away with the prize for Best Film, except at the Asian Film Awards in Macau last month.
The movie's biggest competition is arguably Dante Lam's Unbeatable, which was both a critical and commercial hit. Up for the prize are also dance movie The Way We Dance, action drama The White Storm and Stephen Chow comedy Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons.
Watch The Hosts
The event is bound to contain much fun and laughter, perhaps even more than usual, as comedian Teresa Mo will be hosting for the first time alongside funnymen Ronald Cheng and Gordon Lam, both of whom have hosted the awards in the past two years. Cheng and Lam jokingly told the media on Friday that they are worried that they will not be able to react in time to properly respond to Mo's quick wit come Sunday.
Johnnie To feud
Celebrated Hong Kong director Johnnie To has long regarded the Hong Kong Film Awards as "unfair", and has refused to attend the awards since 2000. This, despite being the director with the most number of nominations for Best Director at the awards - if you count this year's nomination for his film Blind Detective, he would have 17 nominations under his belt. In a 2011 interview with Chinese news portal Tencent, he said that the Hong Kong Film Awards are always "splitting pork", a colloquial term meaning that awards are handed out to everyone. Last year, he told web portal Sina that he does not see much "value" in attending the Hong Kong Film Awards, because there is nothing for him to "learn" there.
The awards results is based on a joint voting system by the Hong Kong Film Awards executive committee as well as 13 Hong Kong professional film bodies.
The 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday April 13. It will be telecast live on E City (StarHub Channel 111/825).