Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 HK Directors Guild Four-Way Tie for Top Prize

The Hong Kong Film Directors Guild had their annual Spring Banquet and Awards Ceremony on March 5, and were unable to find a clear winner for their Most Recommended Film of 2010 award. Honours were shared between the historical adventure film Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (狄仁杰之通天帝国), the detective thriller The Stool Pigeon (线人), the retro kung fu comedy Gallants (打擂台) and the romantic comedy Love in a Puff (志明与春娇). The directors were similarly undecided on their Best Director award - it was shared by three of the Most Recommend Film directors, Detective Dee's Tsui Hark (徐克), Stool Pigeon's Dante Lam (林超贤) and Love in a Puff's Pang Ho-cheung (彭浩翔).

The Directors Guild doesn't hand out Best Actor gongs, but instead acknowledges new acting talent. Its 2010 New Actor Gold Prize went to Dennis To Yu-hang (杜宇航, pinyin: Dù Yǔháng - pictured left) who played the title role in the martial arts biopic The Legend is Born - Ip Man. The 30 year old To has been hailed as a natural successor to the current martial arts leading man Donnie Yen, to whom To also has a remarkable physical resemblance. He has also made appearances in Ip Man, Ip Man 2 and Bodyguards and Assassins, but The Legend is Born is his first starring role.

Silver Prize was given to Jennifer Tse (谢婷婷, pinyin: Xiè Tíngtíng), who co-starred in another kung fu biopic, Bruce Lee, My Brother. 23 year old Tse, also known as Tse Ting-ting, is the sister of the popular Hong Kong actor Nicholas Tse, and daughter of another famous Hong Kong actor-director, Patrick Tse. Bruce Lee, My Brother was her screen debut, playing Bruce Lee's girlfriend. She began her career as a model. Also from Bruce Lee, My Brother, Singapore singer, songwriter and record producer now turned actor Hanjin Tan (陈奂仁, pinyib: Chén Huànrén) was awarded the Bronze Prize.

The Directors Guild Award for 2010 New Director was given to Felix Chong (庄文强) for the action-comedy Once a Gangster. The 43 year old Chong had previously been a writer for some recent Hong Kong classics such as the Infernal Affairs trilogy, Confessions of Pain and Overheard. Once a Gangster is his directing debut.

The Directors Guild also handed out an honourary award to veteran martial arts star and director Sammo Hung (洪金宝, pinyin: Hóng Jīnbǎo). The 59 year old star, known for his big build and surprisingly agile martial arts skills, went to the same China Drama Academy as Jackie Chan and like Chan began as a child actor. His acting credits include Iron-Fisted Monk, Project A, The Prodigal Son, Pedicab Driver and SPL.

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