Backstage, Wong and his star, best-actress winner Zhang Ziyi, were all smiles with their awards. But their thoughts were with the family of Ju Kun, a "Grandmaster" crew member who was a passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Wong said that although he's happy for all the recognition the film's cast and crew have received, he regrets that a member of the team could not be here to share their joy.
"I want to take this opportunity to express my concerns and blessing to his family," the director said. "I also hope that the Malaysia government can use a method more transparent, to let everyone know the whereabouts of this plane and what exactly happened. I think, not just for Ju Kun, but for all the families (of the passengers) that's the most important thing."
Zhang said she's accepting her award with a heavy heart. "Today, I'm very emotional. It's also because there's a friend from the crew, we have to bid farewell to him forever. It has taught us to cherish life and those around you. We also need the truth for all the families."
Her co-star Tony Leung was the favorite for best actor, which went to Irrfan Khan for Indian film "The Lunchbox," a drama about the accidental love between two strangers who connected through a lunchbox delivery mix-up.
Among the other awards given Thursday in Macau, Chinese actor Huang Bo won best supporting actor for "No Man's Land," and Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann won best supporting actress for "Ilo Ilo.
The recipient of the lifetime achievement award was Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien.
The Asian Film Awards were organized this year by a new regional governing body that includes the awards' previous organizer, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, and representatives from the Tokyo and Busan, South Korea, film festivals. The Asian Film Awards Academy is part of an effort to promote budding filmmakers in the region and enhance collaboration among their film industries.