Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower is the clear frontrunner in the 26th edition of the Hong Kong Film Awards after earning 14 nominations, including best film, best director, best actor for Chow Yun Fat and best actress for Gong Li.

The lavish historical drama also garnered nods for two best supporting actors for Jay Chou and Liu Ye as well as cinematography, action choreography, art direction, costume and make-up design, sound design, visual effects, original score and song.

After This Our Exile, which marks Hong Kong veteran Patrick Tam's return to the director's chair after a 17-year hiatus, followed with 10 nominations including best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor (Aaron Kwok), best supporting actress (Kelly Lin) and best supporting actor and best new performer (Gouw Ian Iskandar).

Johnnie To's Exiled and Election 2, each received four and five nods respectively, were nominated for best film and best director. Election 2's Simon Yam and Nick Cheung were both up for best supporting actor.

Rounding up the best actor category are Fearless's Jet Li, My Name is Fame's Lau Ching Wan and Confession of Pain's Tony Leung Chiu Wai while Men Suddenly in Black 2's Teresa Mo, Happy Birthday's Rene Liu, Isabella's Isabella Leong and Re-cycle's Lee Sinje are competing with Gong Li for best actress.

Fearless, Confession of Pain, Banquet and Battle of Wits each garnered seven nominations, mostly in the technical categories.

The awards as part of Hong Kong Entertainment Expo will be presented on April 15 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Best Film
After This Our Exile
Election 2
Curse of the Golden Flower

Best Director
Patrick Tam (After This Our Exile)
Johnnie To (Exiled)
Johnnie To (Election 2)
Zhang Yimou (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Jacob Cheung (A Battle Of Wits)

Best Screenplay
Patrick Tam, Tian K1oi Leong (After This Our Exile)
Sylvia Chang, Mathias Woo, Theresa Tang (Happy Birthday)
James Yuen, Jessica Fong, Lo Yiu Fai (My Name Is Fame)
Yau Nai Hoi, Yip Tin Shing (Election 2)
Felix Chong, Alan Mak (Confession Of Pain)

Best Actor
Aaron Kwok (After This Our Exile)
Lau Ching Wan (My Name Is Fame)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Confession Of Pain)
Chow Yun Fat (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Jet Li (Fearless)

Best Actress
Teresa Mo (Men Suddenly In Black 2)
Rene Liu (Happy Birthday)
Isabella Leong (Isabella)
Lee Sin Je (Re-Cycle)
Gong Li (Curse Of The Golden Flower)

Best Supporting Actor
Gouw Ian Iskandar (After This Our Exile)
Simon Yam (Election 2)
Nick Cheung Siu Fai (Election 2)
Jay Chou (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Liu Ye (Curse Of The Golden Flower)

Best Supporting Actress
Kelly Lin (After This Our Exile)
Isabella Leong (Diary)
Candice Yu (My Name Is Fame)
Zhou Xun (The Banquet)
Kristal Tin (The Mother Is A Belly Dancer)

Best New Performer
Gouw Ian Iskandar (After This Our Exile)
Huo Si Yan (My Name Is Fame)
Pei Pei (Dog Bite Dog)
Sun Li (Fearless)
Matthew Medvedev (Rob-B-Hood)

Best Cinematography
Mark Lee (After This Our Exile)
Charlie Lam (Isabella)
Cheng Siu Keung (Exiled)
Andrew Lau, Lai Yiu Fai (Confession Of Pain)
Zhao Xiaoding (Curse Of The Golden Flower)

Best Editing
Patrick Tam (After This Our Exile)
David Richardson (Exiled)
Azrael Chung (Confession Of Pain)
Eric Kong (A Battle Of Wits)
Virginia Katz, Richard Learoyd (Fearless)

Best Art Direction
Patrick Tam, Cyrus Ho (After This Our Exile)
Man Lim Chung (Isabella)
Tim Yip (The Banquet)
Man Lim Chung (Confession Of Pain)
Huo Tingxiao (Curse Of The Golden Flower)

Best Costume & Make Up Design
Stephanie Wong (Isabella)
Tim Yip (The Banquet)
Man Lim Chung (Confession Of Pain)
Yee Chung Man (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Tong Huamiao (A Battle Of Wits)

Best Action Choreography
Tony Ching (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Stephen Tung (A Battle Of Wits)
Yuen Wo Ping (Fearless)
Donnie Yen (Dragon Tiger Gate)
Jackie Chan, Li Chung Chi, JC Stunt Team (Rob-B-Hood)

Best Sound Design
Wang Danrong (The Banquet)
Nakom Kositpaisal (Re-Cycle)
Tao Jing, Roger Savage (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Steve Burgess, He Wei (A Battle of Wits)
Richard E. Yawn (Fearless)

Best Visual Effects
Jiang Yanming (The Banquet)
Wu Xuan Hui (Re-Cycle)
Angela Barson, Frankie Chung, John Leonti, Sze Cheuk Wah (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Clement Cheng, Victor Wong, Eddy Wong (A Battle of Wits)
Koan Hui (Dragon Tiger Gate)

Best Original Film Score
Peter Kam (Isabella)
Tan Dun (The Banquet)
Chan Kwong Wing (Confession Of Pain)
Shigeru Umebayashi (Curse Of The Golden Flower)
Kenji Kawai (A Battle of Wits)

Best Original Film Song
The Heavenly Kings
Happy Birthday
The Banquet
Curse Of The Golden Flower

Best New Director
Law Wing Cheong (2 Become 1)
Daniel Wu (The Heavenly Kings)
Patrick Kong (Marriage With A Fool)

Best Asian Film
Still Life, China
Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles, China
Death Note, Japan
Crazy Stone, China
The Host, Korea