The 6th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Presentation Ceremony

The Sixth Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Presentation took place 4 March, 2000 at the Lin Por Yen Theatre of the Hong Kong Art Centre. The honorary guest for the occasion was renowned director Peter Chan, who presented the society's bronze prizes to the five major winners. Chan himself was the Best Director winner at the Fourth Society Awards for his work in the film Comrades, Almost A Love Story, which also won for Best Picture and, for Maggie Cheung, Best Actress.

Society president Freddie Wong presented the prizes for the seven Films of Merit. Director-producer Ann Hui was the first winner to step on stage, accepting the award for Ordinary Heroes. The prize for Tempting Heart was presented to Media Asia representative Wellington Fung, who gave an impromptu account of the difficulties involved in producing, promoting and marketing a quality, non-mainstream film like Tempting Heart.

Director Stanley Kwan, who served as producer for Love Will Tear Us Apart, accepted the film's award, though he acknowledged that his contribution to the film was minor, serving only to bring together star Tony Leung Ka-fai and director Yu Lik-wai.

Producer Joe Ma was a big winner in this year's ceremony, receiving prizes for Victim and Bullets Over Summer. He thanked the cast and crews for both films but joked that with Victim, he was only learning from veteran director Ringo Lam and did not come close to controlling "Sir Tung," his nickname for the director. For Bullets Over Summer, he was joined on stage by director Wilson Yip and scriptwriter Matt Chow.

Both the producers for Little Cheung and Running Out of Time were deeply involved in their latest productions and were unable to attend Saturday's event. Assistant Director Chan Wai-keung accepted the award for Little Cheung's Fruit Chan and scriptwriter Yau Nai-hoi claimed the prize for Running Out of Time on behalf of Johnnie To.


Before presenting the awards for the major winners, Peter Chan revealed that he never received the statue for the Best Film Award he won three years ago. Because he was unable to attend the ceremony, the award was collected by Golden Harvest representatives and had been displayed at company office since. He suggested that multiple statues be made for winners that involve collaborators.

Wilson Yip and Matt Chow were the first to claim a major prize. They accepted the Best Screenplay award for Bullets Over Summer, which was co-written by Ben Cheung, who was not able to attend the ceremony.

Yau Nai-hoi again stepped on the stage to receive major prizes for Johnnie To. He did it twice, first for Best Director and then for Best Picture, both awarded to The Mission. He conveyed To's gratitude for Chiu Fu-sheng, the head of Era International, which financed the film. To also expressed his indebtedness to (former) partner Wai Ka-fai, without collaborating with whom in the past few years he would not be able to accomplish what he did in The Mission.

The final two prizes belonged to Bullets Over Summer, the biggest winner this year. Francis Ng arrived in the nick of time to receive his prize for Best Actor. This is the second time Ng wins the award, the previous occasion for the 1996 film Once Upon a Time in Triad Society. He joked that during filmming, he had given acting tips to co-star Law Lan, but only so she could turn in a worse performance, allowing himself to stand out. The audience of close to a hundred media representatives was clearly amused.

But the audience saved its most enthusiastic response to Law Lan, who won Best Actress for her wonderful turn as an aging woman. The veteran actress received an ovation that lasted an entire minute when she appeared on stage. She revealed that this is the first award she has ever received in a long career of over forty years. She quotes a verse from a Tang Dynasty poem: "The setting sun radiates boundless beauty, yet it is close to darkness," which is frequently used to describe the twilight years. Law went on to offer a revision: "The setting sun indeed radiates boundless beauty, so why ponder if it's close to darkness." The devout Christian ended her acceptance by raising the statue above her head with the cheer "Hallelujah!"