The 3rd Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Presentation Ceremony

Before the crowds swarmed into Planet Hollywood on this particular Saturday morning, the Hong Kong Film Critics Society (HKFCS) presented their third annual awards in a casual but star-studded ceremony with a press attendance that far surpassed the first two years. Master of ceremony was HKFCS renowned screenwriter-film critic-columnist-radio host Lam Chiu-wing, or Superwing Lam if you read HKFCS net page.

First up on the rundown were the eight Films of Merit and presenting the awards was HKFCS president Li Cheuk-to.

Forbidden City Cop was represented by director Vincent Kuk (who expressed their regret that co-director Stephen Chiau could not make it), screenwriter Chan Hing-ka and associate producer Stanley Wu. Director Yip Wai-shun, one of only three people (excluding actors) appearing on the stage who was not wearing glasses, received the award for Mongkok Story. Then came director Gordon Chan, executive producer Fung Wing and producer John Chong for First Option. Director Cha Chuen-Yee, looking cool as always, received his two awards simultaneously for Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 1 and 2. The third sequel on the list of Films of Merit, Young and Dangerous 3, was represented by director Andrew Lau (who was glad that he had proven a sequel could be better than the original), screenwriter Manfred Wong and Golden Harvests Peter Tam. Peter Tam stayed behind on stage to collect the other two awards for Hu-du-men and Lost and Found on behalf of Golden Harvest.

Then came the five major awards, presented by Hong Kong new wave director Yim-Ho (Homecoming, Red Dust, The Day the Sun Turned Cold).

Philip Kwok, possibly the youngest recipient of a Best Screenplay award in Hong Kong, took the stage first and gave a standard thank everybody speech for his work on Mongkok Story.

Also a first time recipient in his category, Best Actor Francis Ng thanked the HKFCS for acknowledging his performance in Once Upon a Time in Triad Society, which brought him a most welcomed horde of press interviews. When Lam Chiu-wing jokingly commented that his award was a vindication for losing out at the Hong Kong Film Awards, Ng corrected him by saying that one couldnt lose if one wasnt even in the race. (Regrettably, Ng failed to receive a nomination in both the leading and supporting categories at the HKFA this year.)

Catching her on a day off from Wayne Wang's new film The Chinese Box which is being shot in Hong Kong, Best Actress Maggie Cheung received her award for Comrades, Almost a Love Story in person. The two-time Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress (A Fishy Story, Centrestage) was pleased that she could win again even after a two-year hiatus. She said that this was the first time she bumped into Eric Tsang (co-founder of UFO, the production company of Comrades) in the streets and something good came out of it.

Since Peter Chan, the director of Comrades, Almost a Love Story was tied up in Los Angeles, co-winner of the Best Director award, First Option's Gordon Chan had his hands full when he received his award and Peter's on his behalf at the same time. Gordon had a harder time than Cha Chuen-Yee for those statuettes were much heavier than the plastic plaques. He had to ask the photographers to excuse him for not being able to hold up the awards for too long. Evidently, this was not the first time the two Chans had shared a Best Director Award. They did that once when both were voted Best Directors by the Hong Kong Film Directors Guild. Gordon related Peters acceptance speech which was an apology to his crew for being short-tempered at times during production. As for Gordon himself, he was glad that he got an award from the HKFCS or else he would end up empty-handed this year. (First Option did not receive any major nomination from the HKFA.)

Due to the absence of Peter Chan, the award for Best Film which also went to Comrades, Almost a Love Story was received by Golden Harvest's Peter Tam.


List of Award Winners of the Third HKFCS Awards, and the people who accepted the awards:

Films of Merit:

Forbidden City Cop: Vincent Kuk (director), Chan Hing-ka (screenwriter), Stanley Wu (associate producer)
Mongkok Story: Yip Wai-shun (director)
First Option: Gordon Chan (director), Fung Wing (executive producer), John Chong (producer)
Once Upon a Time in Triad Society: Cha Chuen-Yee (director)
Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2: Cha Chuen-Yee (director)
Young and Dangerous 3: Andrew Lau (director), Manfred Wong (screenwriter), Peter Tam (on behalf of producers)
Hu-du-men: Peter Tam (on behalf of producers)
Lost and Found: Peter Tam (on behalf of producers)

Major Awards:

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)
Best Director: Gordon Chan (First Option), Peter Chan (Comrades, Almost a Love Story), accepted by Gordon Chan on his behalf
Best Film: Comrades, Almost a Love Story (accepted by Peter Tam on behalf of producers)

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