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Hong Kong Film Awards: Patrick Tam Comeback Movie Tops + Tiburon Festival Winners

After This Our Exile Patrick TamApril 15 update: Fu zi / After This Our Exile, Patrick Tam's first directorial effort in 17 years, won the top prize at the 26th Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony held tonight at the harbor front Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

“Thank you for the judges' support for me,” Tam said on the stage. “… I thank all the actors and crew members and also God, who gave me such a great gift.” Tam had stopped directing movies after Sha shou hu die meng / My Heart Is That Eternal Rose in 1989. Unhappy with the way his films were turning out, Tam would spend the next 17 years working as a professor and film editor.

After This Our Exile is the story of an inveterate gambler who, after losing his home and his wife, forces his young son to become a thief. The 160-minute family drama also won trophies for director Tam, supporting actor and best new performer for Gouw Ian Iskandar, and for Tam and co-screenwriter Tian Koi Leong. The 9-year-old Iskandar had previously won the Golden Horse Award for best supporting actor.

Gong Li in Curse of the Golden Flower

The most nominated film of the evening, Zhang Yimou's dysfunctional family melodrama-cum-period epic Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower, won 4 of its 14 nominations: best actress for Gong Li (above) – one of the greatest performers of the last two decades – as an empress plotting a coup against her husband while being slowly poisoned by him; best art direction (Huo Tingxiao); best costume design / make-up (Academy Award nominee Yee Chung Man); and best song, “Ju Hua Tai” composed and sung by one of the film's stars, pop idol Jay Chou, and with lyrics by Vincent Fang Wen Shan.

Curse of the Golden Flower is the most expensive Chinese-language film to date, having reportedly cost a whopping – for local standards – HK$351 million (US$45 million).

Zhang lost the best film and best director awards, but his Chinese-made psychological family drama Qian li zou dan qi / Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles did win the award for best Asian film, beating South Korea's mammoth hit Gwoemul / The Host, which had dominated this year's Asian Film Awards, held in Hong Kong about three weeks ago.

Lau Ching Wan and Huo Siyan in My Name Is Fame

The best actor winner was perhaps the biggest surprise – and the most applauded victory – of the evening. Veteran Lau Ching Wan (above, with Huo Siyan), the least-known name among the four nominees – the others were Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, and Golden Horse Award winner Aaron Kwok – took home the award for his performance as a fading actor (a sort of parody of Lau's own career) in Lawrence Lau's little-seen Ngor yiu sing ming / My Name Is Fame.

Zhou Xun in The Banquet by Feng Xiaogang

The best supporting actress was Zhou Xun (above) for her role as the object of a prince's affection in Feng Xiaogang's Ye yan / The Banquet. Last November, Zhou received the Golden Horse Award for best actress for the musical Ru guo · Ai / Perhaps Love.

Peter Kam Pui-tat took the best original film score award for Isabella. Kam had previously won the best film music award at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.

Run Run ShawLegendary producer Run Run Shaw (right), who produced more than 150 films from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s – and who will turn 100 next Oct. 7 – was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Many of the top nominees, including Johnnie To (who was competing against himself in the best director category), Gong Li, Zhang Yimou, Jet Li, and Chow Yun Fat were absent from the ceremony, but both Tony Leungs – Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Tony Leung Ka-fai – Aaron Kwok, and Jay Chou did show up.

Gong Li and Chow Yun Fat in Curse of the Golden Flower
Curse of the Golden Flower with Gong Li and Chow Yun Fat.

April 10: The 2007 Hong Kong Film Award winners will be announced this coming Sunday, April 15.

A huge box office hit in China, Zhang Yimou's historical epic-cum-dysfunctional family drama Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower (top) leads the pack of nominees, with a total of 14 nods including best film, best director, best actor (Chow Yun Fat), and best actress (Gong Li). Curiously, Curse of the Golden Flower is conspicuously absent from the best screenplay category.

Earlier this year, the film received one Academy Award nomination – for best costume design (Yee Chung Man) – and won awards for costume design (period film) and art direction (period film, Huo Tingxiao) from, respectively, the U.S.-based Costume Designers Guild Art Directors Guild.

Aaron Kwok in After This Our Exile by Patrick TamOther top Hong Kong Film Award nominees are Patrick Tam's Fu zi / After This Our Exile (left), with 10 nominations including best film, best director, and best actor (Aaron Kwok).

The tale of a young man's convoluted relationship with his no-good father, After This Our Exile won three 2006 Golden Horse awards: Best film, best actor, and best supporting actor (Gouw Ian Iskandar). The family drama also won awards for best Asian film and best artistic contribution in an Asian film at the 2006 Tokyo Film Festival.

Rounding out the list of five best film nominees are the Jet Li martial-arts actioner Huo Yuan Jia / Fearless (with a total of seven nominations), Johnnie To's crime thriller Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2 / Triad Election (with five), and another Johnnie To crime flick, Fong juk / Exiled (with four). To, in fact, is competing against himself in the best director category.

Zhang Yimou's Chinese-made drama Qian li zou dan qi / Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, Shusuke Kaneko's Japanese supernatural crime thriller Desu nôto / Death Note, and Bong Joon-ho's South Korean comedy-horror-ecological family drama Gwoemul / The Host — this year's Asian Film Awards big winner – are among the five best Asian film nominees.

Tiburon International Film Festival

Marcello MastroianniBetween Mar. 22-30, the 6th annual Tiburon International Film Festival (website) screened 250 films from 90 countries.

Among the festival's highlights were a program on Pixar short films, the Spotlight on Tunisian Cinema, and tributes to Marcello Mastroianni (left, with a screening of Annarosa Morri and Mario Canale's Marcello, una vita dolce / Marcello, A Sweet Life) and John Ford (with a screening of Peter Bogdanovich's Directed By John Ford).

Another honoree, Mark Rydell, best known for his Academy Award-nominated family drama On Golden Pond, was on hand to present the West Coast Premiere of his latest film, Even Money, starring Kim Basinger, Forest Whitaker, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Cannon, Ray Liotta, Jay Mohr, Cassandra Hepburn, and Tim Roth.

A White Ballad by Stefano Odoardi

The Tiburon festival's Golden Reel winner for best film was Una Ballata bianca / A White Ballad (above), Stefano Odoardi's portrait of an elderly couple whose life together is about to end, while István Szabó was chosen best director for Rokonok / Relatives, a tale of love and political corruption in Hungary.

The best actor was Janne Virtanen for his role as a man accused of manslaughter in the Finnish drama Valkoinen Kaupunki / Frozen City. Céline Bonnier took the best actress award for her ex-con trying to adjust to family life in a small Canadian town in Délivrez-moi / Forgive Me. Earlier this year, Bonnier also won the Prix Jutra (Quebec's Oscar) for best actress.

The Tiburon film festival takes place yearly in Tiburon, just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.

6th Tiburon (Calif.) International Film Festival - 2007 Golden Reel Awards

2007 Tiburon International Film Festival: March 22-30.

A White Ballad by Stefano Odoardi

Best Film: Una Ballata bianca / A White Ballad, Directed by: Stefano Odoardi (Italy)

Relatives by Istvan Szabó

Best Dir.: István Szabó, Rokonok / Relatives (Hungary)

Janne Virtanen in Frozen City

Best Actor: Janne Virtanen, Valkoinen Kaupunki / Frozen City (Finland)

Celine Bonnier in Forgive Me

Best Actress: Céline Bonnier, Délivrez-moi / Forgive Me (Canada)

Best Documentary: The Sermons of Sister Jane, Directed by: Irving Saraf, Allie Light, Carol Monpere (US)

Humanitarian Award: Rwanda. Through Us, Humanity…, (Directed by: Marie-France Collard) [Belgium]

Best Musical Documentary: Si Sos Brujo: A Tango Story, Directed by: Caroline Neal (Argentine)

Best Animation: Temerario, Directed by: Carl Zitelmann (UK)

Federico Fellini Award: Brigit Moller, Valerie (Germany)

Orson Welles Award: Janghun Troy Choi, Blind Love (US)

Luiz Gustavo, Luana Piovani in Romeo and Juliet Get Married

Best Comedy: O Casamento de Romeu e Julieta / Romeo and Juliet Get Married, Directed by: Bruno Barreto (Brazil)

Best Sports Film: Peel: The Peru Project, Directed by: Wes Brown & T.J. Barrack

Best Experimental Film: Quio: So Dazed, Directed by: Christine Lang (Germany)

Best Children's Film: The Tillamook Treasure, Directed by: Jane Beaumont Hall (US)

Best Short: Hero by Nature, Directed by: Roger Cantin (Canada)

Best Student Film: 365 Boots on Ground, Directed by: KC Wayland (US)

Best Music Video: King Without a Crown, Directed by: P.R. Brown (US)

Hong Kong Film Awards: Patrick Tam Comeback Movie Tops + Tiburon Festival Winners © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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