Welcome to the Asia In Cinema (previously LoveHKFilm) 2018 Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog! This is our 9th or 10th year of doing this, so you should know the drill by now. In our typical low-tech tradition, we just update the post every time something new is happening. The latest update is on top, so you can scroll from the bottom and work your way up. Here we go!
23:57 – And that’s it for Asia In Cinema’s HK Film Awards live blog, managing to end before it hit hour five. Thanks again for following, and see you guys again for the Golden Horse Awards!
Final award count: Five for OUR TIME WILL COME, three for PARADOX, two for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and CHASING THE DRAGON. One win each for CONCERTO OF THE BULLY, LOVE EDUCATION, WU KONG, SHOCK WAVE, JOURNEY TO THE WEST and 29+1.
23:56 – Yu Dong points out that Bona Film Group is involved in four of the five Best Film nominees this year.
23:54 – (ooooh, cool animation alert)
Tsui Hark: “Anyone is fine. Just don’t give it to Ann.”
And the Best Film award goes to: OUR TIME WILL COME, for its fifth award of the night. Oh, Ann Hui is already on the stage!
23:50 – Every presenter is getting a chance to talk, which means we may be here by hour five.
Alex Cheung is taking videos of other people onstage while they talk.
23:46 – Time for tonight’s final award. Six Hong Kong New Wave directors are presenting.
Yim Ho starts by talking about how easy it is to shoot films in digital nowadays. Alex Cheung whips out his digital camera as a supporting prop, I guess.
Alex Cheung talks about how amazing it was that BIG BLUE LAKE was made with a camera. He was about to talk about how this indie film made for HK$500k won Best Film. Tsui Hark jokingly signals him to stop.
23:41 – Koo starts his speech about how he’s been thinking about how Hongkongers should make Hong Kong films. He shares an anecdote about him asking Chor Yuen for advice. Chor told him to not give up a single line as an actor, just like how he should never let a single film go by. Koo also gives love to Pauline Yeung the tea lady about how much joy she brings to everyone.
Koo: “Hongkongers should be united and do good things for Hong Kong cinema.”
So cool that Louis Koo spends more time in his speech providing anecdotes about other people than talking about himself.
23:39 – And the Best Actor award goes to: Louis Koo for PARADOX, for its third award of the night.
Finally, Louis Koo wins his first Best Actor award after three nominations. Plenty of cheers for him.
For a journalist, Koo is a notoriously tough interviewee, but plenty of people in the industry love him for a reason. That’s all I’ll say.
23:35 – We’re back for the Best Actor award now. Aamir Khan on stage to present to loud cheers (Please don’t call him the Indian Andy Lau anymore. Pretty please).
(He’s speaking in English, so I don’t have to translate any of this)
Khan is in town to promote his latest film, SECRET SUPERSTAR. Of course, he’s classy enough to give plenty of compliment to HKFA nominees and hope for HK-Indian collaborations.
23:30 – Best Actor and Best Film left, and we’re now officially in overtime.
23:23 – And the Best Actress award goes to: Teresa Mo for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, for the film’s second award. This is her first third Best Actress nomination and her first Best Actress win.
Mo thanks Edmond Wong for convincing Raymond Wong for investing in a non-Raymond Wong film. lol.
23:19 – Gordon Lam and Vicky Zhao present the Best Actress award.
Lam points out that three of the nominees were directed by female directors.
23:17 – And the Best Director award goes to: Ann Hui for OUR TIME WILL COME, for the film’s fourth award.
This is her 13th nomination, and this is her 6th win. She broke her own record as the director with the most HKFA wins.
Hui: “I hope I won’t get nominated again because my heart can’t handle it!”
Hui also thanks all the stars that did cameos in the film. She gives a remarkably short acceptance speech and leaves.
23:11 – It’s time for the big four. Andy Lau and Gigi Leung now onstage to present Best Director. FULL THROTTLE reunion, guys.
Before the nomination reel, they show a montage of the Best Director nominees appearing as actors in films. This is great.
23:09 – Award count so far: Three wins for OUR TIME WILL COME, two wins for PARADOX and CHASING THE DRAGON. One win each for CONCERTO OF THE BULLY, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, LOVE EDUCATION, WU KONG, SHOCK WAVE, JOURNEY TO THE WEST and 29+1.
23:04 – Sadly, this year’s In Memoriam segment seems to have more names than usual.
33-time HKFA nominee Kinson Tsang gets the finale of the segment.
23:00 – Louis Cheung and Charlene Choi finally return to the stage for the beginning of hour 4.
Now the In Memoriam segment with “Make You Feel My Love” as the accompanying song.
22:59 – Ronald Cheng thanks his daughter for motivating him to go back to singing.
22:57 – Time for Best Original Film Song. The award goes to: CONCERTO OF THE BULLY, which was, er, not performed tonight.
I thought Ronald Cheng’s cane was just a gag. Looks like he’s really injured, which would explain why he didn’t perform tonight.
Peter Kam talks about the tough time the film faced in local cinemas in his acceptance speech.
22:54 – And the Best Original Film Score award goes to: Joe Hisaishi for OUR TIME WILL COME. This is Hisaishi’s second HKFA win, but of course he’s not here.
22:49 – Lowell Lo and Ivana Wong present the Best Original Film Score and Best Original Film Song awards. Two of the Best Song nominees didn’t get a live performance. That’s weird; Ronald Cheng is on the scene, but he’s not performing.
Ivana Wong hums some classic film song for Lowell Lo to guess. One of them is the GOD OF GAMBLERS theme song, composed by Lowell Lo himself. Lo also composed the HKFA theme song that we’ve been hearing for so many years.
Tian Zhuangzhuang looks bored.
22:47 – Ng Siu-hin introduces Best Film nominee LOVE EDUCATION.
22:44 – And the Best Film From Mainland and Taiwan award goes to: THE GREAT BUDDHA+! Director Huang Hsin-yao and star Bamboo Chen accept the award together.
(By the way, I like DUCKWEED and all, but why is it nominated? I get WOLF WARRIOR 2 because it made so much money, but seriously?)
Huang thanks local distributor Golden Scene.
Ann Hui looks super happy about this win. Looks like she really likes the film.
22:42 – Mandarin speaker Lan Yueting asks about a Cantonese profanity phrase (“Hurry the f–k up!”) and makes it a wordplay thing because the profanity sounds like “two o’clock”. Don’t ask. (She must’ve learned that phrase on Johnnie To’s set!)
22:41 – Fiona Sit and Lan Yueting present the Best Film From Mainland and Taiwan award.
22:35 – And they accidentally cut to commercial before Chor Yuen could finish his speech. D’oh!
22:31 – Chor Yuen’s speech is super classy. “Tomorrow is always better than yesterday. That’s life.”
He’s also very honest about his lowest point in his directorial career, when Mona Fong ripped up his production sheet a day before a production told him to his face that he doesn’t know anything about film art.
22:29 – Chor Yuen gets a huge standing ovation, of course, but Pauline Yeung got louder applause.
Chor Yuen thanks Fung for presenting the award, but tells Fung to hold his award for now. Chor Yuen’s still got it!
22:27 – I should say that people in my generation likely know Chor Yuen better as an actor than a director, but of course, anyone who knows HK film history should know how important he was as a filmmaker.
22:26 – And now, time for the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement award for Chor Yuen, by his disciple Stanley Fung. He started his career on radio and TV. Chor gave him his first film role.
Chor also gave Fung a chance as an assistant director and a director.
Fung: “He even set up the camera placement on my very first shot as director!”
22:25 – I wonder if there’s a live feed of the awards in China, and if they’ve cut off the feed.
22:23 – And the Best Supporting Actress award goes to: Deanie Ip for OUR TIME WILL COME, for the film’s second award.
This is Ip’s third Best Supporting Actress win and a much deserved one, too.
22:19 – Ray Lui and Hedwig Tam on stage to present the Best Supporting Actress award.
Tam reveals that she played the younger version of Teresa Mo’s character in TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, but she only showed her back, so no one knows that she’s in the film.
22:17 – Classy of Sylvia Chang to let her co-writer get the first dibs at the acceptance speech. Chang thanks You Xiao-ying for giving her family’s story for the script.
Now, the introduction for Best Film nominee (yikes!) CHASING THE DRAGON.
22:15 – I’m very amused that they showed parts of the horror opening for LOVE OFF THE CUFF’s nomination clip.
And the Best Screenplay award goes to: Sylvia Chang and You Xiao-ying for LOVE EDUCATION. This is Chang’s second win in the category, after winning for TEMPTING HEART.
22:10 – Wong: “People in Hong Kong forget you if you go away for a few years, so let me introduce myself again.”
“My profession is a waiter. It means someone who waits. I wait for work and luck, etc etc. I’m also an actor once in a while. It means someone who performs, not something who literally acts on things.”
22:09 – Anthony Wong on stage now to present Best Screenplay. Last time he was here he practically did a stand-up routine.
22:08 – And the award for Best Action Choreography goes to: Sammo Hung for PARADOX, for the film’s second award of the night.
PARADOX is Hung’s fourth win in this category. He has been nominated 13 times.
Hung says that he wasn’t going to attend, but he says that he’s here because there are fewer and fewer HK action films, so he should attend before the hKFA abolishes the award.
22:02 – Tony Jaa and Ken Lo on stage to present the Best Action Choreography.
Tony Jaa does a whole thing in Thai. Lo translates for him.
Jaa breaks out his Cantonese and even breaks into the Shanghai Bund theme song and an Andy Lau song. I don’t know how long he’s rehearsed for this.
21:59 – ToNick (that’s pronounced “tonic”) performs the award-nominated song for VAMPIRE CLEANUP DEPARTMENT. This hit ballad is the likely winner tonight.
Uninteresting trivia: The lead singer of ToNick is the co-director of VAMPIRE CLEANUP DEPARTMENT. Seriously.
21:57 – Totally uninteresting trivia: Philip Keung went to school on the same street as my old childhood home in HK.
21:50 – Keung is tearing up. He says he’s amazed by the luck he’s had in recent years. “I wonder if I’m suddenly going to die or something!”
Keung: “I was nervous, so I asked Herman Yau if I was doing ok because he’s shooting so quickly. He said, ‘You’re fine, I’m more nervous than you are!'”
21:47 – This is the only category of the night to have six nominees (though Philip Keung and Kurata has is nominated for two awards each).
And the Best Supporting Actor award goes to: Philip Keung for SHOCK WAVE. This is his first Hong Kong Film Award win. He has waited years and literally tens of movies for this.
21:43 – Ronald Cheng and Neo Yau now on stage to present Best Supporting Actor. Ronald Cheng comes out late with a cane.
Cheng: “So, Neo, do you want to win Best Actor? Look at the nominees tonight. They all play bad guys! Look at Yasuaki Kurata. His character in THE EMPTY HANDS forces Stephy to do karate!”
21:42 – And now, the intro for SHOCK WAVE. Yes, the main character is a bomb disposal expert AND an undercover police officer. That doesn’t make any sense. Hey, the introduction reveals the ENTIRE plot, including the ending.
21:40 – Kinson Tsang, who passed away last year, is nominated for both JOURNEY TO THE WEST and PARADOX tonight.
And the Best Sound Design award goes to: PARADOX. This is Tsang’s eighth, and unfortunately, final HKFA win.
Tsang’s daughter thanks everyone on his behalf. Tsang has never been onstage to receive an HKFA.
21:37 – Law and Ning remain for the Best Sound Design award. They do a live display to explain what folly and sound effects are by having Law fake-slap Michael Ning.
21:34 – Law: “Why are you applauding? I’m really sad. Without special effects there’d be nothing to see in these five films!”
Best Visual Effects up first. The award goes to: WUKONG. As in NOT Korea’s Dexter Studios.
21:30 – Michael Ning and Law Kar-ying are onstage to present Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Design.
They’re not doing any banter, cutting straight to the nominee reel.
Law: “I have a very important announcement to make. It’s time to go to the VTR.” That was pretty funny.
21:28 – Seriously, the microphones are really badly calibrated tonight. The audio level is peaking like hell.
21:26 – Tan Weiwei performs the award-nominated theme song for LOVE EDUCATION.
21:21 – 80 minutes in for the second commercial break.
21:18 – Pauline thanks all those who go to the cinemas to watch Hong Kong films.
21:16 – The tea lady cares for the (duh) tea and sometimes catering needs of all the major crew and cast members. She is seriously loved in the industry. Jackie Chan also says that she makes a hell of an XO sauce.
I think Pauline is getting the biggest standing ovation of the night. I wonder if Chor Yuen will even get this much respect.
21:15 – Actually, this song for 29+1 is really good. Which means it probably won’t win the Best Original Theme Song award.
Jackie Chan now on stage to present the HKFA For Professional Achievement for tea lady Pauline Yeung. This is seriously awesome (tea lady part, not the Jackie Chan part). She is a legend in the HK film industry.
Francis Ng in the clip: “I thought all tea ladies are named Pauline!”
21:09 – The HKFA has established a charity organization to raise awareness of different charity organizations.
Subyub Lee now performs the HKFA-nominated theme song for 29+1.
21:08 – Man Lim-chung says that Ann Hui literally jumped for joy after watching a rough cut of OUR TIME WILL COME. She was overjoyed that she has finally made a film about the history of HK in its fight against the Japanese.
21:05 – Sam Lee accidentally breaks the envelope.
And the Best Art Direction award goes to: OUR TIME WILL COME for the first award of the night. This is Man Lim-Chung’s second HKFA win.
21:02 – Stephy Tang and Sam Lee now onstage to present Best Art Direction. And Stephy’s already changed out of the dress that she wore on the red carpet.
Their banter covers the challenges each of the nominated films faced.
Is it really fair to pair up the low-budget EMPTY HANDS against big-budget co-productions? Just a thought.
21:00 – And the Best Costume & Make-up Design award goes to: JOURNEY TO THE WEST: THE DEMONS STRIKE BACK. The recipients are not there.
20:58 – There’s a constant ringing on the microphone. Serious audio problem, guys.
20:57 – Elvis Tsui sound a bit awkward tonight. It looks like he hasn’t done this for years.
20:56 – Louis Cheung and Charlene Choi announce Stephy Tang and Philip Keung as the winners of tonight’s Best Dressed award.
Elvis Tsui and Cherry Ngan now on stage to present Best Costume & Make-up Design. Elvis Tsui looking like a bad-ass. Nothing to see here.
20:55 – Of course Ann Hui is looking at her phone while this is happening. Oh, she’s not anymore.
20:54 – Venus Wong introduces Best Film nominee OUR TIME WILL COME. And she’s giving away most of the plot too!
20:53 – FYI, we’re currently at 2 award for CHASING THE DRAGON and one award each for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and 29+1. They all have multiple nominations tonight.
20:52 – An extra long commercial break means that Star Movies can show a making of for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY.
20:48 – And we have the first commercial break 45 minutes into the show.
20:46 – Kearen Pang thanks Pang Ho-cheung, who gave Kearen her first film job. No relation, by the way.
Pang also thanks her editor who helped her finish the film after “my first editor ran off”.
20:44 – (Louis Koo has put on those cool sunglasses)
And the Best New Director award goes to: Kearen Pang for 29+1.
The voiceover mentions the shady Nice Film Festival win. Sorry, they really should’ve mentioned the Osaka Asian Film Festival Audience Award instead.
A director is eligible for the Best New Director award for their first two films. This is why Chapman To is eligible.
20:42 – Wu: “So I hear that Steve Chan might make a sequel to WEEDS ON FIRE. Louis, do you want to be in it?”
Koo: “No way. The sun will kill me.”
20:41 – Tony Wu does an imitation of an (in)famous Louis Koo song.
Koo: “Look, we’re just following the script. Look at how crappy that joke was.”
20:39 – Tony Wu and Louis Koo present the Best New Director award.
20:38 – Uhhhhhhhhhh, this introduction gives away 95% of the PARADOX’s plot right down to the last 10 minutes.
20:37 – Zeno Koo comes out to introduce Best Film nominee PARADOX. That’s a hell of an outfit.
20:36 – And the Best Editing Award goes to: Li Ka-wing for CHASING THE DRAGON. That’s the second award for the film already.
Has a Wong Jing film won this many HK Film Awards before????
20:33 – The three actresses stay to present the award for Best Editing.
20:31 – And the Best Cinematography award goes to: Jason Kwan for CHASING THE DRAGON. Ok, it’s going to be that kind of night.
This is Jason Kwan’s first win. He previously shot LOVE IN A PUFF and made his directorial debut with NAIL CLIPPER ROMANCE. Kwan is also the co-director of CHASING THE DRAGON.
A reminder: Jason Kwan just beat Mark Lee Ping-bin. Seriously,
20:27 – Cecilia So, Jennifer Yu and Fish Liew come out to present Best Cinematography. Cecilia So gets an apple box to reach the podium. Cute.
20:25 – Candace Yu is Ling Man-lung’s godmother and manager.
20:23 – And the Best New Performer award goes to: Ling Man-lung for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY.
The long-time stage actor is also nominated for Best Actor tonight.
Wait, did he just pass by Elvis Tsui????!!!!
20:20 – Let’s face it, the Best New Performer category is a race between Rachel Leung for SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE MIST, Ling Man-lung for TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and Hanna Chan for PARADOX.
Did they just show a deleted scene for the TOMORROW IS A BETTER DAY clip???? That scene is definitely not in the film.
20:19 – Each of the guys talks about their first roles and how they weren’t able to get nominations for Best New Performer because the award hadn’t existed yet. Jordan Chan doesn’t remember his lines.
Aaaaaaaand they manage to get in a plug for their new film
20:18 – First award tonight is Best New Performer. It’s the YOUNG & DANGEROUS gang presenting!
By the way, we’re supposed to see these guys again later this year in GOLDEN JOB.
20:16 – OK, that’s over now.
20:14 – The thing is, Hong Kong has one of the most blatantly commercial film industries in the world. What’s the point of a musical sequence encouraging young filmmakers to be themselves and tell the stories they want to tell?
20:12 – MC Jin and Louis Cheung are rapping now. This musical sequence is officially too long.
20:11 – You’d think for someone who’s spent most of her career lip-syncing at concerts, Charlene Choi would do better at it.
20:10 – And there’s MC Jin?! He shows up as a film investor who gives Louis Cheung a chance to make his first film.
20:08 – The opening musical sequence is all about young people pursuing their filmmaking dreams, in line with the industry’s latest message of hope about passing the torch to the next generation.
20:06 – The kids turn into Charlene Choi and Louis Cheung, who lip-sync the show’s opening musical sequence. I’m going to eat some more sushi now.
20:04 – And we’re underway! Starting with an animated superhero piece that’s narrated by kids. Cute and well-made. Followed by a live skit with the kids making a monster movie.
20:03 – Quick reminder: If you’re in one of the 27 territories on this website, you can watch a live stream of the award show and follow along.
20:02 – We’re officially a little late, but you know, that’s Hong Kong. Star Movies still showing a short video about FilMart.
19:57 – This year’s HKFA theme is “forever young”. Let’s see how hosts Charlene Choi and Louis Cheung will bring that out tonight.
19:52 – I’m gonna stop updating for the next 8 minutes because I’m going to eat some sushi now.
19:48 – Before we start, I should give praise to the marketing team behind this year’s HK Film Awards. They’ve hired MAD WORLD creative duo Wong Chun and Florence Chan to create a series of ads featuring up-and-coming Hong Kong actors. See one of them here.
19:46 – Welcome to our HKFA Live Blog. Red carpet coverage isn’t on TV, so all we can see is the ending of SPL2 on Star Movie Channel.