The 3rd Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Film: Comrades, Almost a Love Story
  • Best Director:
    Peter Chan
    (Comrades, Almost a Love Story)
    Gordon Chan
    (First Option)
  • Best Screenplay: Philip Kwok (Mongkok Story)
  • Best Actor: Francis Ng (Once Upon a Time in Triad Society)
  • Best Actress: Maggie Cheung (Comrades, Almost a Love Story)
  • Films of Merit:
    Forbidden City Cop
    Mongkok Story
    First Option
    Once Upon a Time in Triad Society
    Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2
    Young and Dangerous 3
    (Stage Door)
    Lost and Found

Following six hours of hot debate and discussions on 2 February, 1997, members of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society announced the winners of the five award categories for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress. The presentation ceremony was held at the Planet Hollywood on 8 March.

Francis Ng won the Best Actor award for his great range in Once Upon a Time in Triad Society, a performance that offers realistic but contrasting characterisations of a young triad gangster. Ng's performance in a small part in Big Bullet, showing an introspective power that was always on the verge of exploding, also earned him credit in the final voting. Ng's nearest rival was Roy Cheung whose triad big brother in Mongkok Story was definitely not a stereotype.

Best Actress went to Maggie Cheung, whose refreshing performance in Comrades, Almost a Love Story demonstrated an increasing depth in her acting career. Contenders were Ada Choi, who showed her great potential in Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2, and Carina Lau, who stayed her course acting with Stephen Chiau in Forbidden City Cop.

Philip Kwok won more than half the votes in the first polling of the final round considering the Best Screenplay award. With impressive fluidity and charm, Kwok's screenplay for Mongkok Story hovered between realism and absurdity to break through the clichés of the good guy-bad guy formula of the gangster genre.

The Best Director award is shared by Peter Chan (Comrades, Almost a Love Story) and Gordon Chan (First Option). The former is recognised for his superb technical skills and direction of actors and other departments. The latter is recognised for his utter professionalism, his sense of mission, and his evocation of the sentiments of our times.

Best Picture went to Comrades, Almost a Love Story, a well-received winner. Trailing behind at a distance was Mongkok Story. Comrades gives a fond portrayal of drifters caught in a dilemma of pursuing their dreams or settling down. It is best regarded as a milestone in UFO's creative progress.

Eight 'films of merit' were chosen apart from the awardees. They are:

  • Forbidden City Cop: Great chemistry between Stephen Chiau and Vincent Kuk as co-directors. Full of energy and unpretentious charm.
  • Mongkok Story: Narrated from the playful point of view of a triad 'trainee'. An extremely inspiring and entertaining look into the diegesis of a gangster.
  • First Option: A triumphant balance between commercial and creative orientations. Technical professionalism and the thematic quest for self-fulfilment complement each other.
  • Once Upon a Time in Triad Society: A parodic subversion of the heroic images found in conventional gangster movies.
  • Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2: A brilliantly structured before-the-rain gangster movie & la comedie noire.
  • Young and Dangerous 3: The third and most successful effort by the team that started the 'triad kids' fad. Radiating with flame and fluidity.
  • Hu-Du-Men (Stage Door): The most filmic adaptation of Raymond To's stage plays.
  • Lost and Found: Thematic treatment of contemporary issues and an honest outpouring of personal sentiments.