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HK awards a blessing for ‘Curse’

Zhang actioner rewarded with 14 nominations

Zhang Yimou’s “Curse of the Golden Flower” led the pack with 14 nominations Wednesday for the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Pic is up for best film at the 27th annual awards, along with Patrick Tam-helmed drama “After This Our Exile,” Johnnie To’s gangster pics “Exiled” and “Election 2” and “Fearless” starring Jet Li.

“Curse” also got nods for director (Zhang), actor (Chow Yun-Fat), actress (Gong Li), cinematography, art direction, action choreography, sound design, visual effects, costume and makeup design, score and song. Two of its thesps, Jay Chou and Liu Ye, received supporting actor nods.

“After This Our Exile” was in second place with 10 nods. Tam is up for director and screenplay with Tian Koi-leong.

In addition to Tam and Zhang, To (“Election 2” and “Exiled”) and Jacob Cheung Chi-leung (“A Battle of Wits”) are up for director.

Aaron Kwok is up for actor for his perf as an abusive husband who gets his son to steal for him in “After This Our Exile.” Gouw Ian Iskandar, who plays the young son, got nods for supporting actor and new performer.

Competing with Chow and Kwok for actor are Li in “Fearless,” Lau Ching-wan (“My Name Is Fame”) and Tony Leung Chiu-wai (“Confession of Pain”).

Actress kudo will see Teresa Mo Shun-kwan (“Men Suddenly in Black 2”), Rene Liu (“Happy Birthday”), Isabella Leong (“Isabella”) and Lee Sin-je (“Re-Cycle”) competing with Gong Li.

Rounding out supporting actor are Simon Yam and Nick Cheung Siu-fai, both in “Election 2.”

The supporting actress noms include Kelly Lin (“After This Our Exile”), Isabella Leong (“Diary”), “Candice Yu (“My Name Is Fame”), Zhou Xun (“The Banquet”) and Kristal Tin Yui Lee (“My Mother Is a Belly Dancer”).

“Fearless,” “Banquet,” “Confession of Pain” and “A Battle of Wits” got seven noms each. “Election 2” had five.

This year’s ceremony will put particular emphasis on new talent. The new director winner will be given HK$100,000 (almost $13,000,) which is supported by the Film Development Fund.

Competing for new director are: Daniel Wu (“Heavenly Kings”), Law Wing Cheong (“2 Become 1”) and Patrick Kong (“Marriage With a Fool”).

For Asian film kudos are: China’s “Still Life,” “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles” and “Crazy Stone,” “Death Note” from Japan and Korea’s “The Host.”

The Hong Kong Film Awards will be held April 15 as part of the Entertainment Expo.

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