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Hong Kong's Film Awards Not Always Welcomed

According to the China Business Journal, the Hong Kong film industry presents its annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to reputable actors or actresses who had outstanding achievements, just like the Academy Awards in the United States.

The panel for the 10th Gold Redbud Awards, which will be held on the evening of March 6, has already decided to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lau Ka Leung, a former movie star. However, Mr. Lau disliked the word "lifetime" so much that the Movie Critics Association agreed to rename this award as the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The Gold Redbud Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Movie Critics Association, is regarded as the prelude to the Hong Kong Film Awards. The winners of the 1st to the 8th Lifetime Achievement Awards are Shih Kien, Cheung Cheh, Lo Dun, Fuk Woo, Fong Pao, Cho Tat Wah, Wong Tin Lam and Woo Fung. All of them are reputable elders in their seventies or eighties. Several of them passed away shortly after receiving the award.

Patrick Tse Yin was awarded this honor last year. Upon hearing the news, his first response was "I cannot accept the prize. If I do, it means I am not far from death". Patrick Tse Yin is only in his sixties. In his opinion, accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award means he could retire and subsist on pensions for the remainder of his life, and for this reason he was reluctant to accept the award. However, he did attend the award ceremony last year. In his acceptance speech he solemnly stated that the award should be for his half-lifetime achievements. Woo Fung, who is still active shooting films, also felt uneasy when he got the honor two years ago. He once asked his godson Jacky Cheung: "Do I have to retire now?"

(Chinanews.com March 7, 2005)

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