At last year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, Ten Years won Best Film – a surprise, given that this was an indie made by young filmmakers on a shoestring budget. It won’t be the first, as the Hong Kong film industry increasingly recognises young blood. While this year’s nominations include familiar names such as Johnnie To and Stephen Chow, significant works by up-and-coming directors are also award hopefuls. We’re showing a selection of the best nominees onboard.
One of this year’s frontrunners is Trivisa, the real-life crime drama produced by To and his longtime scriptwriter Yau Nai-hoi. Helmed by three young directors, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong and Frank Hui, the film follows three robbers searching for new ways to survive in 1997 Hong Kong, just before its handover to China.
Even though each director shot a separate story, Trivisa editors Allen Leung and David Richardson stitched the three sections into a coherent whole. These enthralling stories of survival, ambition and loyalty – an allegory for the future of Hong Kong – are deeply significant.
This year’s most competitive category is Best New Director. One of the nominees is Derek Tsang, for his solo directorial debut Soul Mate. With 12 nominations – more than any other film this year – Soul Mate is a stirring drama about the tumultuous friendship between two women and the man between them. Tsang skilfully guides stars Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun to captivating performances that earned both of them nominations in the Best Actress category.
Another strong entry for Best New Director is Andy Lo for Happiness, a tender story about an unlikely bond between a middle-aged recluse (Best Actress nominee Kara Hui) and a wayward young man who becomes her flatmate (Carlos Chan). Happiness takes a rare look at Hong Kong’s social outcasts.
There are additional HKFA nominees – past and present – onboard this month. Look for the HKFA statue logo on the interactive menu.
By Alvin Lai, Cathay Pacific’s assistant product manager – communications and entertainment content