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Ip Man still packs a punch

Wong Kar Wai`s The Grandmaster takes 14 nods for this year`s Hong Kong Film Awards. Dante Lam`s drama Unbeatable has 11 and Juno Mak`s vampire story Rigor Mortis has nine.

Any of those three titles could match Cold War`s nine wins at the 2013 HKFA, but it`s an unlikely outcome despite Hong Kong`s love for favoured son Wong Kar Wai.

Unbeatable and The Grandmaster go head to head in the Best Film, Director, Screenplay and several other categories. 2013`s other Ip Man title, The Final Fight, which premiered at last year`s HK International Film Festival, receives a single nomination in the Best Actor category. Anthony Wong and Tony Leung Chui Wai will face off for their respective portrayals of the iconic Wing Chun teacher.

Mak, whose Rigor Mortis is his debut feature, is nominated in the New Director category.

Mak is also known as an actor and singer, starring in Pang Ho-cheung`s satiric slasher Dream Home which played the NZIFF. His Rigor Mortis is a homage to a 1980s series of HK titles known as “hopping vampire”.

In the technical categories, a number of familiar names return. 2014`s nominees include five 2013 winners. Anthony Pun won the 2013 Best Cinematography gong for his work on The Silent War. Wong Hoi and Kwong Chi Leung won Best Editing winners for Cold War. Eric Lam took the 2013 Best Art Direction award for The Last Tycoon; and 2013 Best Sound Design winner Kinson Tang (Cold War) is again nominated this year.

The HK awards are unashamedly loyal to their own and favour HK contributors to the increasing number of Chinese co-production titles in which HK participates. But sometimes it`s difficult.

The two favourites to win the Best Actress category are both mainland actors, Zhang Ziyi and Tang Wei. Both have HK associations: Zhang through previous collaborations with Wong Kar Wai, Tang from working in HK during her ban from working on mainland titles following her role in Taiwanese director`s Ang Lee`s Lust, Caution (part-shot in Hong Kong).

Zhang is nominated for The Grandmaster, which has strong HK subject matter. Tang is nominated for rom-com Finding Mr Right, which – other than investment – has no HK connection. Last year it played in NZ and elsewhere as a title in the (mainland) China Film Festival.

The Hong Kong Film Awards mark the end of Hong Kong`s Entertainment Expo. The Expo begins in late March with the opening of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Filmart and project market HAF. The HKFA name the winners on 13 April.

The nominees are:

Best Film
The Grandmaster
Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons
The Way We Dance
The White Storm
Unbeatable

Best Director
Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster
Johnnie To Kei Fung, Drug War
Benny Chan, The White Storm
Derek Kwok Tsz Kin, As The Light Goes Out
Dante Lam Chiu Yin, Unbeatable

Best Screenplay
Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster
Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam, American Dreams In China
Xue Xiaolu, Finding Mr. Right
Wai Ka Fai, Yau Nai Hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi, Blind Detective
Jack Ng, Fung Chi Fung, Dante Lam Chiu Yin, Unbeatable

Best Actor
Tony Leung Chiu Wai, The Grandmaster
Louis Koo, The White Storm
Sean Lau Ching Wan, The White Storm
Anthony Wong, Ip Man-The Final Fight
Nick Cheung Ka Fai, Unbeatable

Best Actress
Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster
Tang Wei, Finding Mr. Right
Cherry Ngan, The Way We Dance
Sammi Cheng, Blind Detective
Nina Paw Hee Ching, Rigor Mortis

Best Supporting Actor
Zhang Jin, The Grandmaster
Tong Dawei, American Dreams In China
Huang Bo, Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons
Eddie Peng, Unbeatable
Antony “Friend” Chan, Rigor Mortis

Best Supporting Actress
Du Juan, American Dreams In China
Carina Lau, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Law Lan, The White Storm
Crystal Lee, Unbeatable
Kara Wai Ying Hung, Rigor Mortis

Best New Performer
Du Juan, American Dreams In China
Fish Liew, Doomsday Party
Lin Gengxin, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Babyjohn Choi, The Way We Dance
Angel Chiang, A Secret Between Us

Best Cinematography
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
Anthony Pun, The White Storm
Jason Kwan, As The Light Goes Out
Kenny Tse, Unbeatable
Ng Kai Ming, Rigor Mortis

Best Film Editing
Benjamin Courtines, William Chang Suk Ping, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung Yiu, The Grandmaster
Kwong Chi Leung & Ron Chan, Firestorm
Yau Chi Wai, The White Storm
Wong Hoi, As The Light Goes Out
Azrael Chung, Unbeatable

Best Art Direction
William Chang Suk Ping & Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster
Eric Lam, Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons
Ken Mak, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Eric Lam, As The Light Goes Out
Irving Cheung, Rigor Mortis

Best Costume & Make Up Design
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
Dora Ng Li Lo, American Dreams In China
Lee Pik Kwan & Bruce Yu, Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons
Lee Pik Kwan & Bruce Yu, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Kittichon Kunratchol, Miggy Cheng , Phoebe Wong, Kittichon Kunratchol, Rigor Mortis

Best Action Choreography
Yuen Wo Ping, The Grandmaster
Yuen Bun, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Chin Ka Lok, Firestorm
Donnie Yen, Special ID
Ling Chi Wah, Unbeatable

Best Original Film Score
Nathaniel Mechaly, Shigeru Umebayashi & Nathaniel Mechaly, The Grandmaster
Kenji Kawai, Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Day Tai & Afuc Chan, The Way We Dance
Teddy Robin & Tomy Wai, As The Light Goes Out
Henry Lai, Unbeatable

Best Original Film Song
Young And Dangerous: Reloaded
The Way We Dance
Love Is Blind from Blind Detective
The White Storm
Ai Zui Da from As The Light Goes Out

Best Sound Design
Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon, The Grandmaster
Kinson Tang, 狄仁傑之神都龍王
Phyllis Cheng, As The Light Goes Out
Phyllis Cheng, Unbeatable
Benny Chu & Steve Miller, Rigor Mortis

Best Visual Effects
Pierre Buffin, The Grandmaster
Wook Kim, Young Detective Dee : Rise Of The Sea Dragon
Yee Kwok Leung, Lai Man Chun, Ho Kwan Yeung, Garrett K Lam, Firestorm
Henri Wong, Hugo Kwan, Walter Wong, As The Light Goes Out
Enoch Chan, Rigor Mortis

Best New Director
Adam Wong, The Way We Dance
Alan Yuen, Firestorm
Juno Mak, Rigor Mortis

Best Film From Mainland And Taiwan
Rock Me To The Moon
Lost In Thailand
The Last Supper
Touch Of The Light
So Young

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