22:38 – Well, at least the ceremony ended in time. That’s it from us tonight. Thanks for reading along!


One of the producers thank John Shum for his help. I was told that Shum was in charge of post-production after Benny Chan’s passing.

22:33 – And the Best Film Award goes to…RAGING FIRE?!!!!!!!!!!

That’s quite the surprise, honestly.

22:32 – Worth noting that Koo is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild.

22:31 – Of course, Louis Koo throws out a plug for WARRIORS OF FUTURE, opening on August 25th.

22:30 – Louis Koo and Nansun Shi on the stage now to present Best Film, the final award of the night.

22:29 – Gordon Lam says that Patrick Tse is the first Best Actor winner to get a standing ovation when he won, but I remember that Andy Lau definitely got one when he won for the first time.

Tse kept his speech very short. He just said thank you and left.

22:27 – And the Best Actor Award goes to…Patrick Tse for TIME. This is Tse’s first HKFA nomination and win.

Gordon Lam escorts Tse on the stage to a standing ovation. Michael Hui did not get a standing ovation.

22:24 – Cheung went off -script to give a shoutout to a member of Viu TV group Error for some reason. Even he seems confused.

Nick Cheung points out that Francis Ng and Gordon Lam have both played/impersonated Patrick Tse, so Leung Chung Hang up against three Patrick Tse’s.

22:23 – Nick Cheung now on stage to present Best Actor.

22:21 – And the Best Director Award goes to…Benny Chan for RAGING FIRE, for the film’s third award of the night.

Chan’s widow passed an acceptance speech for Lau to read.

22:20 – Andy Lau on the stage to present Best Director. My guess is Benny Chan, but let’s see.

22:16 – Honestly, I thought Sandra Ng had the Best Actress award in the bag, but Cya Liu was definitely one of the bright spots in a very, very dark film.

Also worth noting is that this is the third consecutive year for a Mainland Chinese actress to bag the Best Actress HKFA (though two of the three films cannot be released in China). Hong Kong actresses, take note.

22:11 – Need an award count update:


LIMBO suddenly seemed like a possible winner for Best Film now, too. It’s hard to tell.

22:10 – And the Best Actress Award goes to…Cya Liu for LIMBO! This is her first nomination and first win. this is LIMBO’s fourth award of the night.

Liu gave the first part of her speech in Cantonese before going full Mandarin, which is admirable.

22:08 – Husband-and-wife Henry Fong and Nina Paw on the stage to present Best Actress.

We didn’t even go to a commercial break before this. Viu TV really needs to wrap this show on time.

22:04 – And the Best Asian Chinese-language Film Award goes to…AMERICAN GIRL. Director Fiona Ruan Fengyi is actually here! She went through quarantine and everything to be here!

See the film on Netflix now.

22:03 – STILL HUMAN star Crisel Consunji presenting Best Asian Chinese-language Film. This is a surprisingly thin pool of nominees.

21:59 – A little surprising that Law is not mentioned once considering that Cheung is presenting Best Screenplay, but that’s probably for the best.

The Best Screenplay Award goes to…LIMBO, for its third award for the night. This is former Milkyway writer Au Kin Yee’s third HKFA win and the first win for her co-writer Shum Kwan Sin.

Au admits that she shouldn’t be standing on the stage tonight and that the award belongs to other films.

Many people in Hong Kong tipped TIME to win this award, so that’s possibly why she’s so shocked.

21:55 – John Chong and Mabel Cheung on the stage now to present Best Screenplay. This is a shock to see.

Cheung seems well considering the circumstances. She just lost her partner Alex Law last week.

21:54 – And the Best Action Choreography Award goes to…RAGING FIRE, which is the only logical choice, really.

21:52 – David Chiang and Chin Ka Lok on the stage now in front of their old photos. They’re here to present Best Action Choreography. This should be the last technical award before the final major awards.

Hey, they finally stopped pushing Best Screenplay to the beginning of the show!

21:44: Commercial break, so it’s time to update the award count:


21:41 – Fellow HKFA nominees Leung Chung Hang and Louise Wong sing Anita Mui’s “Time Flows Like a River” for the in memoriam segment.

Our industry has lost so many people these two years. So many.

21:40 – Fung Ho Yeung seems like a nice kid.

21:36 – And the Best Supporting Actor Award goes to…Fung Ho Yeung for ZERO TO HERO, the film’s first award tonight. This is Fung’s first nomination and win.

He played the teenage So Wa Wai in the film. At 17 years old, he may be the youngest HKFA Best Supporting Actor winner. I need to check this.

21:33 – Stanley Kwan and Elaine Jin (who was in WOMAN and LOVE UNTO WASTES) on stage to present Best Supporting Actor now.

21:31 – And the Best Sound Design award goes to…ANITA, for its 5th award of the night.

I think that’s ANITA for Best Film locked in.

21:30 – We’re just rolling through the tech awards now.

Hedwig Tam and Hanna Chan on stage to present Best Sound Design.

21:28 – I mean, the HK airport explosion in SHOCK WAVE 2 is easily worth the award, right? But RAGING FIRE also created Canton Road from a parking lot. ANITA created old Jordan. I don’t know.

The Best Visual Effects award goes to…ANITA, for its 4th award of the night.

21:27 – Angela Yuen and Cecilia Choi on stage now to present Best Visual Effects.

21:26 – We’re at Best Editing now.

The Best Editing Award goes to…RAGING FIRE, for its first award of the night.

21:24 – Chow literally got rushed off.

Michael Ning and TABLE FOR SIX star Lin Min-chen on the stage now.

Michael Ning plays a clip of him paired with film industry elder. Now he gets to play the elder card with Lin.

21:20 – Chow thanks a lot of people and thanks his family for their support while he was hard at work.

Chow forgets his speech partway and had to take out his phone to check.

He gives a shoutout to the crew at the Cinema City editing department.

21:17 – The last film that Chow edited was Ringo Lam’s FULL CONTACT. He mainly worked as a producer and in other film organizations after that.

21:16 – Karl Maka and Raymond Wong on stage now to present the award to Tony Chow.

21:14 – And now, the Professional Achievement Award will be presented to veteran editor Tony Chow. He ran Cinema City’s editing department and won multiple Best Editing awards.

21:08Award count so far: 3 for ANITA, 2 for LIMBO, 1 each for ONE SECOND CHAMPION, LOVE AFTER LOVE and HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE.

21:07 – The Best Costume & Design award goes to ANITA. That’s the third award for the film. The award winners did not attend, it seems.

21:05 – Director Soi Cheang told me about creating the trash in LIMBO in an interview. It sounded, quite frankly, hellish.

Man and Hui staying on stage to present Best Costume & Makeup Design.

21:03 – Award count so far: 2 each for ANITA and LIMBO, 1 for ONE SECOND CHAMPION, LOVE AFTER LOVE and HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE.

21:02 – The Best Art Direction Award goes to…LIMBO. Much deserved. It has the best garbage heap I’ve ever seen in a film. This is not snark.

21:00 – Man Lim Chung and director/documentary subject Ann Hui on stage now.

Man: “Ann, have you scolded an art director before?”
Hui: “No, but there’s an art director who keeps shooting documentaries on film sets. I want to kick his ass.” (She means Man Lim Chung)

20:59 – The clip for Anita played an instrumental of a Leslie Cheung song, not part of the original film score.

And the Best Original Film Score goes to…LOVE AFTER LOVE.

Of course, Ryuichi Sakamoto isn’t here to receive the award.

20:57 – This Best Original Film Song speeches will probably be longer than the Best Film speech.

Kay Tse now on stage to present Best Original Film Score.

20:55 – Chiu says that Hong Kong is still a place filled with hope and insists that he will stay in Hong Kong to continue his creative endeavor.

There’s been some debate whether it’s right for the HKFA to continue as it is in this day and age of Hong Kong and what Hong Kong cinema faces. There are still passionate filmmakers and professionals still trying to make their voices heard in the best way they can. Is it tone-deaf to celebrate their work in a glamorous ceremony? Maybe I’m biased because I work in this industry, but I say no.

20:52 – For what it’s worth, ToNick and Chow’s song was probably the one that got the most radio play.

Here’s the music video. It’s a banger.

20:51 – Gonna make it a policy to only translate what presenters say when they go off-script.

And the Best Original Film Song award goes to…ONE SECOND CHAMPION!

20:50 – Huge time saver to get all the nominated songs out of the way. Kelly Chan now on stage to present Best Original Film Song as the crew quickly gets the drum kit off the stage in the background.

20:46 – I guess Nicolas Tse – who isn’t nominated for any actor award tonight – isn’t in town, so Chow and Chiu are performing the theme song for RAGING FIRE, too.

20:44 – Oh it’s a medley! We have Endy Chow and director Chiu Sin Hang (and his band ToNick) performing the theme song for ONE SECOND CHAMPION now.

How many places can you think of that has a rock band lead singer who’s also a director and an actor? That’s a rhetorical question. Don’t answer that.

20:42 – Musical performance time. Wong Hin Yan performing the nominated theme song from DRIFTING.

20:41 – We got a Louise Wong backstage interview. She will next be seen in Jack Ng’s directorial debut, which features Dayo Wong as a barrister. Of course, it’s produced by Edko, the company that made ANITA.

20:39 – My friend is convinced that ANITA will take the top award home tonight. I’m starting to believe this.

20:37 – Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Cheng Kiu Keung had not won an HKFA until 2022 A.D..

20:35 – Liew says that she is grateful that she was able to make her dream come true in Hong Kong and thanks the Hong Kong film industry for accepting her.

Second commercial break. Award count: Two for ANITA, one for HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE and LIMBO.

20:34 – Liew has been consistently quite hardworking in HK films for the past ten years. The first thing she does as she breaks into tears is address her parents in Malaysia. She then thanks everyone who worked on ANITA.

Liew is managed by One Cool, which is Louis Koo’s company. How many people are going to be thanking Mr. Koo tonight?

20:32 – The Best Supporting Actress Award goes to….Fish Liew for ANITA.

Liew is also nominated for LIMBO tonight. This is Liew’s first HKFA win.

20:31 – Here we go. They’re here to present the Best Supporting Actress award.

Cheng jokes that Soi Cheang is so hard on people on set that he beats everyone up. He even beat the sky up for raining.

20:29 – Vincent Kuk and his DRAGON LOADED star Ronald Cheng on the stage now to present.

Cheng goes off-script to congratulate Sandra Ng on CHILLI LAUGH STORY passing the HK$10 million mark at the box office.

Cheng also throws in a plug for Louis Koo’s WARRIORS OF FUTURE. Kuk reminds Koo to go on his talk show.

20:26 – Tsang and Fung staying to present Best Cinematography.

The Best Cinematography Award goes to Cheng Siu Keung for LIMBO. This is the first win for Cheng, longtime Milkyway cinematographer. Tsang or Fung almost took his speech away from him, thinking that Cheng didn’t attend the ceremony.

20:25 – Chan thanks his HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE star Gordon Lam, then his producer Lawrence Lau and his co-writer.

20:23 – And the Best New Director award goes to…Kin Long Chan for HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE.

HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE is a First Film Initiative project, bankrolled by the HK government.

CreateHK will give him a HK$100,000 cash prize.

20:21 – Stephen Fung and Derek Tsang on the stage now present Best New Director. Tsang just made it out of quarantine last night. Fung said that he made it out of quarantine this morning.

Tsang asks why Fung can still keep his handsome looks after becoming a director while he gained weight. Fung makes a joke about Tsang’s father.

Fung: “Oh, we’re on Viu TV, we shouldn’t talk about your father.” (Eric Tsang is an executive at a competitor TV network)
Tsang: “It’s OK, we’re on Viu TV, we can say anything.”

20:20 – Wong didn’t seem to expect this. This really is a competitive category.

Wong thanks the late Liu Kai Chi. He coached her in acting before the shoot, as documented in the behind-the-scenes material.

20:19 – I think this is the most competitive category of the night. Most of the nominees are nominated in other categories, too.

And the Best New Performer award goes to: Louise Wong for ANITA!

ANITA was Wong’s first film performance. Wong is also nominated for Best Actress tonight.

20:17 – We’re back. Neo Yau, Kaki Sham and Ling Man Lung now on the stage to present Best New Performer.

Neo Yau heads the YouTube channel Trial and Error, which produces short filmed sketches and other things.

20:10 – 40 minutes in. First commercial break. No award presented yet.

20:09 – Finally, he thanks his children, his grandchildren (for being his film consultants) and his wife for being an eternal optimist.

Hui: “When I want to make a tragedy, she said ‘there are plenty of tragedies in reality. They can just watch the news! You need to make people laugh! Make people laugh while they cry!'”

20:08 – Of course, Hui thanks his three brothers. He makes a mention of Ricky and says that he misses Ricky terribly.

20:06 – Hui reiterates that he doesn’t have much achievements in life and that he was just born blessed. He proceeds to thank people who gave him opportunities throughout his life.

20:04 – Hui says for the first time, he has no idea what to say because of the nature of the award. “What am I supposed to say when I’m told I’m receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award?”

Hui jokes that he’s only won one HKFA and he wonders if a Lifetime Achievement Award means this is it for him.

Hui: “But Derek Yee then said, ‘If you’re like Patrick Tse, it’s not over for you yet!'”

20:02 – If you need me to tell you who Michael Hui is, you’re watching the wrong show.

Hui takes the stage to…..no standing ovation? Yikes.

19:59 – Dayo Wong is the greatest living standup comedian in Hong Kong, so of course his speech is a long standup routine. Essentially, he’s trying to convince Michael Hui that his achievements are worthy of a lifetime achievement award.

19:57 – I have not seen a HKFA ceremony in which not a single award is handed out in the first half hour.

19:55 – Expect to possibly see a few Mirror members nominated for HK Film Awards next year – two of them are in MAMA’S AFFAIR, and Lokman Yeung is in Soi Cheang’s latest film.

Dayo Wong is the first presenter tonight. He jokes that he’s the one receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight.

Nope, he’s here to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Hui.

“Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Hui is my Lifetime Achievement Award!” says Wong.

19:53 – Mirror was formed from a talent competition show on Viu TV, so this being a Viu TV production, of course we’d see these guys take the stage.

19:51 – And we kick off with a Mirror performance! This is the biggest name in Hong Kong entertainment right now. Just pretend you know them so no one OK boomers you.

19:50 – Too long, didn’t translate version of Pang’s monologue? Making movies is really hard, man. And so is holding a film award ceremony.

19:48 – Director Kearen Pang kicks off the proceedings with a monologue about the value of film and how a film is made.

19:46 – Tsang acknowledges the “Is Better Days a Hong Kong film?” debate and brushes it aside by saying he learned everything he knows from Hong Kong cinema.

That’s it. I think now we can get on with the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards.

19:44 – Producer Jojo Hui thanks the award committee for giving them this chance to accept the award on stage after so long. Derek Tsang last on stage to accept his Best Director prize.

19:43 – The winners for BETTER DAYS will wrap up this segment. Looks like Derek Tsang will be the last one to get his prize.

19:41 – The full winners list of the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards, in case you needed a reminder.

As Chairman of the award, Derek Yee is presenting the award statues.

19:39 – As I predicted, the award is now letting winners get their time on the stage and give their speeches.

We had the two winners for MY PRINCE EDWARD. Now we have the winner for Best Art Direction for FAGARA.

19:37 – The show is starting off with a recap of winners from the 39th HK Film Awards. That’s the one that was announced online with no ceremony.

19:33 – The show starts with the 39 Best Film winner montage that’s already on the internet.

19:28 – We’re back! Viu TV is standing by to start the show in a few minutes. I’m still waiting for my dinner to arrive.

19:07 – For what it’s worth, Star Hall is a larger venue than the HK Cultural Center Grand Theater, and it’s become a popular concert venue, so we should be in store for a bigger show than previous HKFA’s. And there’s gonna be a Mirror performance, so that’s always fun.

19:02 – The ending on FIRST OPTION is on one of the local movie channels. I’m definitely watching until the Yoda speech in the end.

18:57 – Looks like Viu TV’s hosts are going to be doing interviews for no one for the next half hour or so. And that’s a half-hour break for us until showtime. See you guys back here at 19:30!

18:55 – Michael Hui is in the house. Patrick Tse is in the house – so Viu TV naturally now has to cut to news. I’m going to see if they’re continuing this on their Facebook page.

18:50 – Hey, there’s Stephen Fung! Hasn’t been seen in Hong Kong for a while. He’s presenting an award tonight, according to the red carpet hosts.

Sandra is beaming. CHILLI LAUGH STORY, which she produced and played a supporting role in, just passed HK$10 million at the box office today.

18:48 – Viu TV definitely isn’t as experienced in running these red carpet shows as the Golden Horse Awards and Taiwan broadcasters. The hosts are killing time while waiting for Sandra Ng to finish her time in front of the photographers.

18:47 – We’re watching Viu TV, the award’s official broadcaster tonight. The past few awards had global online streams, but that’s unfortunately not happening tonight.

Because of Viu TV, tonight’s award isn’t being held at the usual Hong Kong Cultural Center venue. Instead, it’s in Star Hall of Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, which happens to be in the same building as Viu TV headquarters.

The ZERO TO HERO team in front of the cameras now as Viu TV’s people are interviewing David Chiang and his wife Maggie Lee.

18:43 – Welcome to the most low-tech and only English live-blog of the Hong Kong Film Awards on the internet!

We’re checking in early to get things rolling, so we’re watching the red carpet proceedings now. You guys know how this works – press that F5 or reload to see the latest updates on top.