Lawrence Gray's Fat Englishmen, about a group ofbeer-swilling Brits who get cast as Sumo wrestlers in a Japanese beercommercial, was presented with the HAF Award for a Hong Kong project at the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) today.

The cash award of $13,000(HK$100,000) was based on the creativity of the synopsis of the project, whichwas written and is set to be directed by Hong Kong-based British writer Gray.

Meanwhile, the HAF Award fora non-Hong Kong project, also worth $13,000, was split between Singaporeandirector Royston Tan's 132 and The Unspeakable Curse Of The Ox Family,to be directed by Taiwan's Su Chao-pin.

The first ever Rome FilmFestival award, worth $15,000, was presented to Utopia from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, while theEuros10,000 Hubert Bals Fund award went to Chinese director Liu Fendou's Part Ocean, Part Flame.

The Rome Film Festival awardis given to a project that demonstrates the best of innovative talent by anAsian filmmaker while the Hubert Bals Fund award is presented to a project by afilmmaker from a developing country.

Technicolour Thailand also gave out two post-production awards - bothworth $13,000 of in-kind services. The recipients were Zhang Yang's Air, which managed to raise all of its $2.5mbudget at HAF (see separate story), and Kelvin Tong's Maid - A New Beginning.

The Technicolour awards aregiven to projects that are deemed to have the highest potential forco-financing and are willing to undertake post-production in Thailand.

This year's HAF featured 25projects and reported a 20% increase in the number of attendees. More than 630meetings for Asian directors to discuss their projects with potentialfinanciers were held over the market's three days.