The late director Benny Chan, who passed away in 2020, was posthumously awarded the best director prize for his cops-and-robbers actioner Raging Fire at the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards. Actor Andy Lau accepted the award on behalf of Chan’s widow.

Raging Fire also took home the best film, best action choreography and best film editing awards. Its lead Donnie Yen was a producer and one of the action choreographers of the film.

The awards ceremony, held in front of an audience for the first time since the start of the pandemic, was to commend films from both 2020 and 2021 as the ceremony was canceled last year.

The 85-year-old veteran Patrick Tse was crowned best actor for his portrayal of a hitman-turned-noodle maker in black comedy Time. Tse was greeted on stage by a rousing standing ovation. A former matinée idol who was the highest paid actor across Asia in the 1950s, Tse has been active in the film industry for 70 years and received the lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Hong Kong Film Awards. His first-time Hong Kong Film Awards win made him the oldest best actor winner ever. He is also the father of actor Nicholas Tse, who won the same award for The Stool Pigeon in 2011.

Chinese actress Cya Liu was named best actress for Limbo, beating fan favorites Sandra Ng (Zero to Hero), Gong Li (Leap) and Louise Wong. Wong played the much beloved late pop icon Anita Mui in the only local blockbuster of the pandemic era, Anita. She was instead awarded best newcomer for her performance, while Anita topped the awards list with five statuettes, including technical categories like best sound design, best costume and makeup design and best visual effects. Fung Ho Yeung won best supporting actor for Zero to Hero and Fish Liew took best supporting actress for Anita.

Michael Hui, top-grossing comedian of the 1970s and 1980s who has shaped Hong Kong comedic cinema with such classics as The Private Eyes (1976) and Security Unlimited (1981), was the recipient of this year’s lifetime achievement award.

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