The show went on at the Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday night (April 6) despite the outbreak of atypical pneumonia in the territory. Box office smash Infernal Affairs and Zhang Yimou's Hero were the big winners, taking home seven awards apiece, although the latter scored mostly in the technical categories.
Infernal Affairs bagged the award for best film along with best director for Andrew Lau and Alan Mak; best actor for Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and best supporting actor for Anthony Wong. The film also picked up awards for best screenplay (Mak and Felix Chong), best editing and best song.
Hero dominated the ceremony during the first half of the evening, scooping awards for best cinematography (Christopher Doyle), best original film score (Tan Dun), best costume & make-up design (Emi Wada) and best art direction (Huo Ting Xiao, Yi Zhen Zhou) in quick succession.
The martial arts epic went on to also win prizes for best action choreography (Tony Ching Siu-Tung) best sound design and best visual effects.
Lee Sin-Je was awarded best actress for her performance in the Pang Brothers' The Eye and Rene Liu won best supporting actress for Chen Kuo-Fu's Double Vision. Eugenia Yuan won best new performer for her role as a corpse in Peter Ho-Sun Chan's segment of Three.
The Best Asian Film Award went to South Korea's My Sassy Girl while Lo Chi-Leung picked up the outstanding young director award for Inner Senses.
The awards ceremony had a sombre tone for two reasons. While Hong Kong as a whole has been hit by the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the film industry is still in shock at the apparent suicide last week of actor Leslie Cheung who was among the best actor nominees for Inner Senses. Most guests in the auditorium were dressed in black and many were also wearing protective face masks.
SARS - and the World Health Organisation's advice against travelling to Hong Kong - also appeared to account for the large number of no-shows among the award-winners.
Among the winners who were not present to collect their statuettes were US-based actress Eugenia Yuan, Taiwan-based actresses Lee Sin-Je and Rene Liu and Japanese costume designer Emi Wada.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Infernal Affairs (Exec prod: Andrew Lau)
Andrew Lau and Alan Mak (Infernal Affairs)
Alan Mak and Felix Chong (Infernal Affairs)
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (Infernal Affairs)
Lee Sin Je (The Eye)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Anthony Wong (Infernal Affairs)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rene Liu (Double Vision)
BEST NEW PERFORMER
Eugenia Yuan (Three)
Christopher Doyle (Hero)
BEST FILM EDITING
Danny Pang and Pang Ching Hei (Infernal Affairs)
BEST ART DIRECTION
Huo Ting Xiao and Yi Zhen Zhou (Hero)
BEST COSTUME & MAKE-UP DESIGN
Emi Wada (Hero)
BEST ACTION CHOREOGRPAHY
Tony Ching Siu Tung (Hero)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE
Tan Dun (Hero)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG
Composer: Ronald Ng
Lyric: Lin Xi
Sung by: Tong Leung and Andy Lau
BEST SOUND DESIGN
Tao Jing (Hero)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Hero (Murray Pope, Richard Schlein, Luke O'Byrne, Ellen Poon)
BEST ASIAN FILM
My Sassy Girl - South Korea