HONG KONG (AP) — The action-packed crime thriller “Raging Fire” has won best picture and three other awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, beating out an audience-favorite film about late Cantopop singer Anita Mui.
The 40th Hong Kong Film Awards took place on July 17, after being postponed three times from April following the city’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak. It was also the first time the awards had been presented in person since 2019.
“Raging Fire” sees action star Donnie Yen play an incorruptible cop who ends up going up against a former mentee played by Nicholas Tse, who wants revenge after Yen’s character put him in jail.
The film is a swansong from director Benny Chan, who died of cancer in August 2020 while the film was still in post-production.
Chan posthumously won the Best Director award. “Raging Fire” also won Best Editing as well as Best Action Choreography.
The top-grossing movie for the night was “Anita,” a biographical drama about Mui.
“Anita,” which was the highest-grossing Hong Kong film of 2021, won a total of five awards for best costume and design, best visual effects as well as best sound design.
The film topped the box office in Hong Kong upon its release, eventually grossing $18.5 million in box office sales. It topped the Hong Kong box office upon its debut, grossing some HK$61 million ($7.8 million) in about seven weeks.
“Anita” also earned more than 10 million yuan ($1.48 million) on its opening day at the Chinese box office.
Louise Wong, who played Mui in the film, won Best New Performer.
“Honestly, it wasn’t overnight (or) that I got to play the role of Anita,” Wong said.
“I am grateful for the support and encouragement from the team.”
“They helped me gradually understand Anita and the role,” she said. “I’m very grateful to have been able to experience his life.”
Malaysian actor Fish Liew, who played Mui’s sister, Ann Mui, won Best Supporting Actress.
Another big award winner was the crime thriller “Limbo,” based on the novel Wisdom Tooth by Chinese author Lei Mi. The film follows two police officers in their efforts to track down a serial killer.
The film won Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography.
Cya Liu, who played a drug addict who becomes the target of the serial killer, won Best Actress for her portrayal of the role.
“I’m grateful for the chance to star in this film and for director Soi Cheang’s trust and recognition,” Liu said.
“With her encouragement, I was able to completely commit to the role and perform. Today is the first time in my life…that I feel recognition as an actress.”
Meanwhile, 85-year-old Patrick Tse won Best Actor for his performance in the film ‘Time’, which focuses on the city’s neglected elderly population.
He received a standing ovation when receiving his award.
Comedian and actor Michael Hui also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the comedy genre in the Hong Kong film industry.