Of course, the ceremony was a long one, lasting four or five hours in total, and the big awards like Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director would only be given out at the very end. So both the fans and the participants had quite some time to wait.
And the people handing the awards out were all big names that were firmly established in the entertainment industry. Once the ceremony was a few hours in, at around 10:30 p.m., it was finally time for the Best Actress award to be distributed.
Li Dong slowly walked out from the backstage and into the eyes of the public while holding Xu Jing’s arm. Immediately, a spotlight shone down and they were both enveloped in a round beam of light.
Li Dong, as a previous winner of the Best Actress award and an internationally recognized Movie Queen, was one of the judges for this year’s Hong Kong City Film Festival.
She calmly walked to the podium at the center of the stage with an unopened envelope in her free hand. She slightly stooped down to speak into the microphone and said with a smile, “In fact, it really came as a shock when they asked me to present this award today. After all, I know and have cooperated with almost all of the five nominated actresses, sometimes as senior and sometimes as a junior.”
“Xu Jing, you must know some of these actresses too, right?”
Li Dong casually threw out a conversation hook and, after pausing for a split second, Xu Jing followed up and agreed, “En.”
Li Dong pursed her lips and could not help but let out a soft laugh. She down at the crowd and spotted Ruan Tian, then joked, “I seem to have heard before that you have a very bad relationship with our Teacher Ruan Tian?”
Xu Jing’s expression didn’t waver and he replied calmly, “No, that is only a false rumor.”
Li Dong glanced over at him and asked meaningfully, “Do you have any guesses about who our new Movie Queen will be after tonight?”
Xu Jing silently replied with Ruan Tian’s name in his heart, but outwardly he merely said, “Yes.” Then, as if afraid he would be pressed on the topic, he added, “But I’ll keep it a secret.”
After a brief warm up and exchange of pleasantries that lasted for a minute or two, it was time to formally announce the winner.
Li Dong unhurriedly pried the seal off the envelope, opened it up, and saw the name written inside. A smile slowly played across her face.
Down in the audience, Ruan Tian wasn’t feeling too nervous. She had assumed she had no chance of winning the award from the start, so when the cameras swept over the five nominees, her face was the most relaxed and at ease out of all of them.
A moment later a name was announced. The entire venue fell silent for an instant, and then it exploded with thunderous applause.
When she heard the name, Ruan Tian fell into a daze and only snapped out of it when Director Cheng gently nudged her arm. Her usual calmness flew away somewhere, and she even subconsciously ground her teeth. As the cameras all centered on her, her great beauty was exposed. Her long, curled, black hair lazily scattered over her white shoulder and thin back, and the dazzling dress that showcased her figure.
Ruan Tian silently clenched her hands into fists, digging into the palms of her hands with her fingernails and trying to use the pain to clear her head.
As she stood up, Ruan Tian also found that her calves had become a little shaky and her legs felt weak. She wasn’t exactly afraid, but she couldn’t help but be suddenly overcome by nerves.
Whether it was Ruan Tian herself or her fans who were crouched in front of their phones and TV screens to watch the broadcast live, none of them had expected that she would actually be the one to win the Best Actress Award.
They all felt it was unbelievable that she had managed to be the one to stand out from among the group of famous actresses.
In fact, when picking who to give awards to, the Hong Kong City Film Festival used a system where the judges would all cast votes to select the final winner. Unbeknownst to Ruan Tian, she had managed to beat out all of her competitors by only a single vote.
Up on the stage, Xu Jing watched as Ruan Tian approached. He had been very busy with various projects over the past year, so he hadn’t seen Ruan Tian in person for a long time. And, in the past few months, he hadn’t even had many opportunities to see her on the news, so his feelings were a bit mixed seeing her now.
Ruan Tian reached out and took the award from Xu Jing’s hands. For a moment, their fingers touched and she felt the coolness of his skin, but then the moment was over and the feeling disappeared.
Of course, it wasn’t like Ruan Tian had never won an award before, But this was the Hong King Film Festival’s Best Actress Award. It was on a completely different level compared to the awards Ruan Tian had touched before, and she was still half in disbelief.
Ruan Tian turned to the crowd and slowly began to speak, “I never thought I would be the one to win the award tonight, so I didn’t prepare any acceptance speech. I can only say thank you so much. I really appreciate all the love of my fans, you’ve all let me see my own value, and I will try my best to repay you by continuing to create better and better works in the future. Thank you.”
These were Ruan Tian’s true feelings. Deep in her heart, what she liked best was acting, and what she hoped for was for people to like her.
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