The counterfeiter caper Project Gutenberg took home seven statuettes at the Hong Kong Film Awards last night, while newcomer Crisel Consunji became the first Philippines-born performer to be honored by the prestigious awards-giving body.
With its all-star cast and pedigreed director and screenwriter, the crime flick Gutenberg was a favorite in the lead-up to the awards, having bagged a near-record 17 nominations across all the major categories it was eligible for.
It won for Best Film, while writer-director Felix Chong took home awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay. It was also recognized for its cinematography, editing, art direction, and costume design.
Still Human, a dramedy about the relationship between a middle-aged disabled man and his young caretaker, was the next-biggest winner, with awards for Best New Director for Oliver Chan Siu-kuen, Best Actor for perennial honoree Anthony Wong Chau-sang, and Best New Performer for Consunji, as Wong’s Filipino domestic worker.
Consunji had also been nominated for Best Actress, but was beat out by Chloe Maayan.
“It seems to tell the world that in Hong Kong when we celebrate our diversity, we move forward together,” Consunji said in her speech last night.
Consunji’s win had particular resonance in a city where foreign domestic workers, many of them Filipino, face discrimination, hardship, and near-invisibility despite their huge contributions not only to individual households, but to the economy as a whole.
On social media, meanwhile, Filipinos cheered Consunji’s win, with one specifically praising the representation of Filipinos on screen and exclaiming she was “Ibang level,” or on a whole new plane of success.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam also showed up for the festivities, presenting a lifetime achievement award to 82-year-old Hong Kong film industry veteran Patrick Tse Yin.
Check out the full list of winners here:
Best Film: Project Gutenberg
Best Director: Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg)
Best Screenplay: Felix Chong (Project Gutenberg)
Best Actor: Anthony Wong (Still Human)
Best Actress: Chloe Maayan (Three Husbands)
Best Supporting Actor: Ben Yuen (Tracey)
Best Supporting Actress: Kara Wai (Tracey)
Best New Performer: Crisel Consunji (Still Human)
Best New Director: Oliver Chan Siu-kuen (Still Human)
Best Cinematography: Jason Kwan (Project Gutenberg)
Best Film Editing: Curran Pang (Project Gutenberg)
Best Art Direction: Eric Lam (Project Gutenberg)
Best Costume & Makeup Design: Man Lim-chung (Project Gutenberg)
Best Action Choreography: Dante Lam (Operation Red Sea)
Best Original Film Score: RubberBand (Men on the Dragon)
Best Original Film Song: RubberBand (Men on the Dragon)
Best Sound Design: Nopawat Likitwong & Sarunyu Nurnsai (Operation Red Sea)
Best Visual Effects: Inho Lee (Operation Red Sea)
Best Film from Mainland & Taiwan: Dying to Survive
Lifetime Achievement Award: Patrick Tse Yin
Professional Achievement Award: Lau Wan