Sci-fi writer Ngai Hong to get life achievement award

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2012, 12:00am


Celebrated science fiction writer Ngai Hong will be awarded the Hong Kong Film Awards Association's lifetime achievement award, the group says.

Ngai is renowned for his fictional series featuring protagonists such as adventurer Wesley and Dr Yuen who investigates mysteries and works with aliens.

But his creativity is not confined to books: Ngai, 77, wrote more than 300 original film scripts until the 80s and created Bruce Lee's iconic movie character Chen Zhen.

Chan Hing-kai, the association's vice-chairman, said association members had debated whether Ngai is more a novelist or scriptwriter.

'He was very active [in scriptwriting] during his early years,' Chan said. 'We shouldn't ignore his contribution to the film industry just because his subsequent fiction was outstanding.'

Indeed, one of Ngai's famous film characters is Chen Zhen, a fictional student of the real-life 19th century martial artist Huo Yuanjia, who defends the honour of the Chinese against the Japanese invaders.

Chen was played by Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury, famous for his use of nunchakus, a martial arts weapon. In one memorable scene, Lee as Chen smashes a sign insulting China as the 'sick man of East Asia'.

The sign was presented as a taunt by a Japanese gang.

Chan, a writer-producer, is impressed with Ngai's prodigious output. 'He could write 20,000 words a day ... he's both very fast and comprehensive [as a writer],' Chan said. Ngai was also the favourite scriptwriter of director Chang Cheh, Shaw Brothers Studio's leading martial arts director in the 1970s. They collaborated in Blood Brothers and Five Deadly Venoms.

Separately, Deanie Ip Tak-han, a Best Actress nominee for her role as an ageing live-in helper in A Simple Life, said at yesterday's announcement ceremony that she had already prepared her gown for the Film Awards.

She won the Best Actress award for that role at last year's Venice Film Festival.