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Tony Leung Ka-fai, best actor nominee for Cold War 2 in the 2017 Hong Kong Film Awards.

Soul Mate, Cold War 2 lead Hong Kong Film Awards nominations notable for their recognition of new filmmakers

Nominations in multiple categories for four films by first-time directors, including Derek Tsang’s sentimental relationship drama, front-runner with 12 nods, shows changing of the guard in Hong Kong cinema

A year after political drama Ten Years won the best picture prize amid much controversy, the Hong Kong Film Awards are again set to be dominated by up-and-coming filmmakers looking to stay true to their artistic visions, at a time when most industry veterans are focused on producing commercial fare for the lucrative China market.

Actor-turned-director Derek Tsang Kwok-cheung’s Soul Mate is now the front-runner with 12 nominations at the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards, its organisers announced on Tuesday.

Both Zhou Dongyu (left) and Ma Sichun are nominated for best actress for their roles in Soul Mate, the awards front-runner with 12 nominations.
The sentimental friendship drama is followed by the 10 nominations for crime thriller Cold War 2 , the mega-budget sequel to the 2013 best picture winner. While comedy superstar Stephen Chow Sing-chi shows his enduring popularity with eight nominations for The Mermaid , it is another trio of films by new directors – Weeds on Fire with eight nominations, Trivisa (seven) and Mad World (eight) – that highlight the changing of the guard in Hong Kong cinema.

The award winners will be announced on April 9 at a ceremony in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Richie Jen, best actor nominee for Trivisa at the 2017 Hong Kong Film Awards.

The full list of nominations is as follows:

Best film

Soul Mate, Trivisa, The Mermaid, Weeds on Fire, Cold War 2

Best director

Trivisa, The Mermaid, Soul Mate, Three, Mad World

Jelly Lin, nominated best new performer for her part in The Mermaid.

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)

Shawn Yue (left) and Eric Tsang, respectively nominated for best actor and best supporting actor for their parts in Mad World.

Best actress

Tang Wei ( Book of Love []), 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)
Kara Wai, best actress nominee for Happiness.

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

Liu Kai-chi, best supporting actor nominee for 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 film 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 China and Taiwan