HONG KONG (AP) — Action-packed police thriller “Raging Fire” won best film and three other awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, beating out a crowd favorite film about late Cantopop singer Anita Mui.
The 40th Hong Kong Film Awards took place on July 17, after it was postponed thrice from April following the city’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak. It was also the first time that the awards were held in-person since 2019.
“Raging Fire” sees action star Donnie Yen play an incorruptible policeman who ends up going head-to-head with a former mentee played by Nicholas Tse, who wants revenge after Yen’s character put him in prison.
The movie is a swansong by director Benny Chan, who died of cancer in August 2020 while the movie was still in post-production.
Chan posthumously won the Best Director Award. “Raging Fire” also won for Best Editing as well as Best Action Choreography.
The film that took home the most awards for the night was “Anita,” a biographical drama film about Mui.
“Anita,” which was the highest-grossing Hong Kong film in 2021, bagged a total of five awards for Best Costume and Design, Best Visual Effects as well as Best Sound Design.
The film topped the box office in Hong Kong upon release, eventually grossing $18.5 million in total box office sales. It topped the Hong Kong box office upon debut, grossing some 61 million Hong Kong dollars ($7.8 million) in about seven weeks.
“Anita” also earned more than 10 million yuan ($1.48 million) on its opening day at the Chinese box office.
Louise Wong, who played Mui in the film, won Best New Performer.
“Honestly, it wasn’t a day (or) overnight that I could play the role of Anita,” said Wong.
“I’m grateful for the team’s support and encouragement.“
“They helped me gradually understand Anita and the role,” she said. “I’m very grateful that I could experience her life.”
Malaysian actor Fish Liew, who played Mui’s sister Ann Mui, won Best Supporting Actress.
Another big winner at the awards was crime thriller film “Limbo” which is based on the novel Wisdom Tooth by Chinese author Lei Mi. The film follows two policemen in their efforts to hunt down a serial killer.
The film won Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography.
Cya Liu, who played a drug addict who becomes a target for the serial killer, won Best Actress for her portrayal of the role.
“I’m grateful for the chance to perform in this movie and for director Soi Cheang’s trust and recognition,” said Liu.
“With his encouragement, I could completely engage in playing the role and act. Today is the first time in my life … that I feel the recognition as an actress.”
Meanwhile, 85-year-old Patrick Tse took home the award for best actor for his performance in the film “Time,” which centers on the city’s neglected elderly population.
He was given a standing ovation while receiving his award.
Comedian and actor Michael Hui was also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the comedy genre in Hong Kong’s film industry.