Hong Kong was in the mood for action as Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was the big winner at Sunday night's 20th Hong Kong Film Awards with eight statues, including best film and best director.

Wong Kar-wai's 1960s love story In The Mood For Love took five awards, nabbing best actor (Tony Leung) and best actress (Maggie Cheung).

"It is an honour and I do treasure this honour and the encouragement. I am so delighted that I can receive this award in Hong Kong," said Lee after receiving the best director award.

In addition to best film and director, Lee's film also won best supporting actress (Chang Pei-pei), cinematography (Peter Pau), action choreography (Yuen Wo-ping), sound design (Eugene Gearty), original film score (Tan Dun) and original film song (Tan Dun).

A 38-year veteran of kung fu films, Chang Pei-pei dedicated her award to her late martial arts master, and to her mother, "for giving me a strong body to fight up until now. I love kung-fu movies. It doesn't feel like I've made a movie if it doesn't have kung fu in it," said Chang, who played the evil nanny beaten by her protege in Crouching Tiger.

Crouching Tiger came into the awards with a record 16 nominations, but only managed to win half of them. Its finally tally of eight awards fell one short of the record set by Peter Chan's Comrades, Almost a Love Story in 1997.

William Chang was the biggest single winner of the night with three of In The Mood's five awards - best film editing and costume and make-up design. He also edged out Crouching Tiger's Oscar winner Tim Yip to win best art direction.

Fruit Chan's Durian Durian won best screenplay as well as best new performer for mainland Chinese actress Qui Hai-lu.

The only other film to get a look in was Gordon Chan's 2000AD, which won best supporting actor for Francis Ng's performance.

Lee presented a professional achievement award to fight maestro Yuen Wo-ping, who was in the US working on The Matrix sequels. Hong Kong's outgoing chief secretary, Anson Chan, received a standing ovation as she presented the lifetime achievement award to Cantonese opera stage and screen star Pak Suet-sin.