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Indies ‘Trivisa’ and ‘Mad World’ Triumph at Hong Kong Film Awards

Variety logo Variety 4/10/2017 Patrick Frater
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Independent films dominated proceedings at the Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday. But political sensitivities meant that the ceremony was not fully screened on TV in mainland China.

Trivisa,” an independent, low-budget drama set at the time of the territory’s handover to China, took five prizes, including the best film award. It was followed by another indie “Mad World,” with three trophies.

“Trivisa,” produced by Johnnie To, collected the directing award for the ensemble of Frank Hui, Jevons Au and Vicky Wong, best actor of Gordon Lam, best screenplay and best editing. “Mad World,” which tackles the issue of mental illness, earned best supporting actor and actress prizes for Eric Tsang and Taiwan’s Elaine Jin, respectively, and the best new director award for Wong Chun.

For the second year in a row, television coverage of the event was not carried live and in its entirety. Live updates of some websites were reportedly blocked when “Trivisa” was mentioned. The film cannot be released in China, as it portrays instances of corruption by mainland officials. Co-director Au, was also one of the directors of “Ten Years.” A nihilistic future vision of Hong Kong under mainland rule, “Ten Years” is similarly not allowed in China and its multiple wins at the ceremony last year meant that 2016 awards show was not screened in the mainland.

Hong Kong’s biggest names and biggest commercial titles were largely ignored. “The Monkey King 2” collected two technical awards, “Cold War 2” only one and “Operation Mekong” just one. There were no prizes for Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid,” despite eight nominations.

Hong Kong Film Awards, 2017 Prize Winners

Best film: “Trivisa”

Best director: Frank Hui, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong for “Trivisa”

Best actor: Gordon Lam in “Trivisa”

Best actress: Kara Wai in “Happiness”

Best supporting actor: Eric Tsang in “Mad World”

Best supporting actress: Elaine Jin in “Mad World”

Best new performer: Tony Wu in “Weeds on Fire”

Best screenplay “Trivisa”

Best cinematography: Peter Pau, Cao Yu for “See You Tomorrow”

Best film editing: Allen Leung, David Richardson for “Trivisa”

Best art direction: “See You Tomorrow”

Best costume and make-up design: “The Monkey King 2”

Best action choreography: “Operation Mekong”

Best original film score Peter Kam, Yusuke Hatano for “Soul Mate”

Best original film song: “Anthem of Shatin Martins” in “Weeds on Fire”

Best sound design: Kinson Tsang, George Lee Yiu-Keung for “Cold War 2”

Best visual effects: “The Monkey King 2”

Best new director Wong Chun (“Mad World”)

Best film from China and Taiwan: “Godspeed” (Taiwan)

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