Movies with the strongest local themes dominated the nominations for the Hong Kong Film Awards, with first feature “Soul Mate” by actor director Derek Tsang (aka Tsang Kwok-cheung) emerging on top.

Nominations were announced Tuesday ahead of a ceremony set for April 9, shortly before the beginning of the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival. Last year the best film was “Ten Years,” a futuristic imagining of Hong Kong under increasing Chinese influence was the controversial winner.

“Soul Mate” garnered 12 nominations (including best film, best director and best new director for Tsang). Hong Kong crime thriller “Cold War 2” claimed ten nominations.

Behind it, “The Mermaid,” Stephen Chow’s eco fantasy which a year ago broke box office records in mainland China and Hong Kong, earned eight nominations. That put it on a par with Hong Kong indie films “Weeds on Fire” and “Mad World” also with eight nominations. “Trivisa,” which boasts three aspiring directors, collected seven. “Trivisa” was recently named as best film by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society.

2017 Hong Kong Film Awards Nominations
Best film
“Soul Mate,” “Trivisa,” “The Mermaid,” “Weeds on Fire,” “Cold War 2”
Best director
“Trivisa,” “The Mermaid,” “Soul Mate,” “Three,” “Mad World”
Best screenplay
“The Mermaid,” “Mad World,” “Cold War 2,” “Trivisa,” “Soul Mate”
Best actor
Tony Leung Ka-fai (“Cold War 2”,) Gordon Lam (“Trivisa”,) Francis Ng (“Shed Skin Papa”,) Richie Jen (“Trivisa”,) Shawn Yue (“Mad World”)
Best actress
Tang Wei (“Book of Love 2”,) Zhou Dongyu (“Soul Mate”,) Ma Sichun (“Soul Mate”,) Kara Wai (“Happiness”,) Nina Paw (“Show Me Your Love”)
Best supporting actor
Eric Tsang (“Mad World”,) Ng Man-tat (“The Menu”,) Liu Kai-chi (“Weeds on Fire”,) Philip Keung (“Trivisa”,) Paul Chun (“Book of Love”)
Best supporting actress
Fish Liew (“Sisterhood”,) Janice Man (“Cold War 2”,) Kitty Zhang (“The Mermaid”,) Charmaine Fong (“Mad World”,) Elaine Jin (“Mad World”)
Best new performer
Jelly Lin (“The Mermaid”,) Tony Wu (“Weeds on Fire”,) Jennifer Yu (“Sisterhood”,) Hedwig Tam (“Weeds on Fire”,) James Ng (“Happiness”,)
Best cinematography
“Cold War 2,” “Soul Mate,” “Three,” “See You Tomorrow,” “Weeds on Fire”
Best film editing
“See You Tomorrow,” “Trivisa,” “Operation Mekong,” “Cold War 2,” “Soul Mate”
Best art direction
“Sword Master,” “The Mermaid,” “Soul Mate,” “See You Tomorrow,” “The Monkey King 2”
Best costume and make-up design
“See You Tomorrow,” “League of Gods,” “Soul Mate,” “Sword Master,” “The Monkey King 2”
Best action choreography
“Operation Mekong,” “Cold War 2,” “Sword Master,” “Call of Heroes,” “The Monkey King 2”
Best original film score
“Weeds on Fire,” “See You Tomorrow,” “Soul Mate,” “Mad World,” “Cold War 2”
Best original song
“Soul Mate,” “The Mermaid,” “Weeds on Fire,” “Happiness,” “See You Tomorrow”
Best sound design
“Sword Master,” “See You Tomorrow,” “The Monkey King 2,” “Cold War 2,” “Operation Mekong”
Best visual effects
“The Mermaid,” “Operation Mekong,” “Sword Master,” “Cold War 2,” “The Monkey King 2”
Best new director
“Mad World,” “Soul Mate,” “Line Walker,” “Happiness,” “Weeds on Fire”
Best film from mainland China and Taiwan
“Godspeed,” “Chongqing Hot Pot,” “The Road to Mandalay,” “Mr Six,” “I Am Not Madame Bovary.”