The film, set in Inner Mongolia in the 1990s, was named as best picture in the annual awards for best Chinese-language films. It also picked up a best new performer award for Kong Weiyi and the FIPRESCI prize awarded by a separate jury of critics.
The Golden Horse Film Festival ran Nov. 4-24. The 53rd annual awards were presented on Saturday Nov 26 at a ceremony in Taipei’s Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
The event included a red carpet appearance by Frances Juliette Binoche and performances by Coco Lee and Singapore’s Stephanie Sun.
The awards jury was headed by the veteran, socially-conscious Hong Kong director Ann Hui. She told Taiwanese media Saturday that the jury had gone through a “life and death process” in deciding the awards.
Other winners with two awards each were “Detective Chinatown” (best action choreography, best makeup/costume;) “Mad World” (best new director: Wong Chun, and best supporting actress;) “Trivisa” (best original screenplay, best editing;) “Mr No Problem” (best actor, best adapted screenplay;) “Crosscurrent” (best cinematography, best sound design;) and “I Am Not Madam Bovary” (best director: Feng Xiaogang, and the audience choice award.)
In the best actress category the award was shared between the two nominees – Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun – from “Soul Mate.”
Going into the ceremony, local Taiwanese film “Godspeed” had nominations for eight awards and was strongly favored to win in several categories. On the night it picked up only one, for art direction. Other disappointments for Taiwanese cinema included the failure of “The Road To Mandalay” to turn any of its six nominations into awards wins, and the failure of its foreign-language Oscar contender “Hang In There Kids” (aka “Lokah Laqi”) to collect any awards on home soil.
The awards also paid tribute to Abbas Kiarostami, the iconic Iranian director who died earlier this year.
Earlier in the week Singaporean director Boo Junfeng was named as winner of the NETPAC prize, the festival and awards’ only reward for a non Chinese-language film.