Hong Kong - Wong Kar Wai's much lauded kung fu epic “The Grandmaster” won a near-sweep of the Hong Kong Film Awards.
The story of martial arts legend Ip Man has been praised for raising the martial arts genre to a new level and is one of Wong's most successful films. It claimed 12 of the 14 awards for which it was nominated, including best film and best director.
Accepting his third best-director win, Wong said he was particularly thrilled that the crew and cast were recognized for their hard work.
“For the last three years, they really gave so much of themselves for the film,” he said, referring to the time the film was in production.
“Unbeatable” star Nick Cheung, who took his scenes as a boxer so seriously he broke his finger during filming, was named best actor. He thanked everyone from his director to the film crew while on stage accepting his win, but forgot two people dear to him.
He remembered them backstage, saying, “Thank you to my daughter who's brought so much happiness to my life. Thank you to my wife, who's given me so much bliss in life.”
Best-actress winner Zhang Ziyi said at the after-party she felt some regret that her “Grandmaster” co-star Tony Leung didn't win.
“I really hoped that Tony could have won the award, but I think it's fine, because without this recognition, it doesn't change the fact that he's an outstanding actor,” she said.
Zhang, who has won nine best-actress honors across Asia for her performance in “The Grandmaster,” said she feels this award marks a new beginning.
“The Hong Kong Film Awards has given me a new starting line, to start from the beginning and keep working hard. Do a good job with every film and each character, and hard work will eventually be paid off,” she said.
Zhang Jin was named best supporting actor for his role in “The Grandmaster,” and Kara Wai Ying Hung was named best supporting actress for “Rigor Mortis.”
“The Grandmaster” also won the top honor at the Asian Film Awards in March and was a best-picture nominee at Asia's premier film event, the Golden Horse awards in Taiwan, late last year. It had nominations in two technical categories at the Academy Awards.
The film's 12 wins is a record at the Hong Kong Film Awards, now in its 33rd year. “Cold War” and “Comrades: Almost a Love Story” both won nine previously.