Acclaimed director Zhang Yimou’s martial arts epic “Shadow” took the most gongs at Taiwan’s Golden Horse film awards on Saturday.
Zhang, the maker of classics such as “Red Sorghum” and “Raise the Red Lantern,” won best director for the film inspired by traditional ink-brush painting which also bagged three technical awards.
“I’ve made movies for 40 years and this is my first Golden Horse (best) director nomination. I want to thank the jury for giving me the award,” Zhang said at the ceremony at Taipei’s Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
“Shadow” led the race with 12 nominations including best film but lost the coveted prize to “An Elephant Sitting Still” directed by Hu Bo, who died last year aged 29 in Beijing.
Hu also won best adapted screenplay for his first and last film — a nearly four-hour-long story about four struggling small characters based on his novel.
“I want to thank the jury and the audience again,” his mother told the crowd after she accepted the best film statuette for him.
Filmmaker Bi Gan, 29, lost best director to Zhang for his 3D drama “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which collected best cinematography, best sound effects and best original film score.
Theater veteran Hsieh Ying-xuan claimed best actress with her first movie “Dear EX.”
In the film she played a woman dumped by her husband who came out of the closet and fought for his inheritance against his gay lover.
Actor Xu Zheng won best actor for his role as a smuggler of leukaemia drugs who ends up helping the sick in the box-office hit “Dying to Survive.”
That movie also won best new director for 33-year-old filmmaker Wen Muye.
“I want to thank every member of the production… it’s difficult to create hair on my head and I have two hairdos in the movie,” joked Xu, who is bald.
More than 40 films out of a record 667 submitted were nominated for the 55th edition of the Golden Horse Film Awards, which this year were decided by a jury chaired by superstar Gong Li.
List of winners in key categories at the 55th Golden Horse film awards:
Best Feature Film: “An Elephant Sitting Still”
Best Director: Zhang Yimou, “Shadow”
Best Leading Actor: Xu Zheng, “Dying to Survive”
Best Leading Actress: Hsieh Ying-xuan, “Dear EX”
Best Supporting Actor: Ben Yuen, “Tracey”
Best Supporting Actress: Ding Ning, “Cities of Last Things”
Best New Director: Wen Muye, “Dying to Survive”
Best New Performer: Si Pangoyod, “Long Time No Sea”
Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year: Saburo Liu