Taipei Film Festival honors young filmmakers

Huang Ming-cheng, of the Tainan National College of Arts, won the independent film category, pocketing NT$1 million in cash

By Yu Sen-lun and Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Thu, Jan 04, 2001 - Page 11

At the closing ceremony of the Taipei Film Festival (TFF) last night, winners in the competition categories of the festival were announced and awarded their prizes. The main categories included local commercial releases, local independent releases, the Citizen Film and Video Competition and the Golden Lion International Student Film Festival.

The main event of the evening was the award of substantial cash prizes for the best achievements in independent film making -- films made without studio assistance and without commercial release. The Grand Prize of NT$1 million went to Birdland (城市飛行) by Huang Ming-cheng (黃銘正), who is currently a student at the Tainan National College of Arts (國立台南藝術學院).

On receiving the prize, Huang told Taipei Times he would use the prize money to help repay debts accrued in the making of the NT$1.7 million feature about an illegal immigrant from China who first finds himself mistaken for another man and then finds an old lover while wandering about in Taipei.

Winners in other categories were awarded a cash prize of NT$200,000. Among the winners were Chen Hsin-yi (陳芯宜) for her film Bundled (我叫阿銘啦), for which she won both the Best Newcomer and Best Feature awards. The film won the Golden Horse for the Best Original Theme Song last month.

And she wasn't (沒參加) by Liu Chi-hsiung (劉吉雄) took the prize in the experimental film category. This was the only Taiwanese film to receive a nomination for the Sundance Film Festival for 2001.

In the commercial release category, the Best Film award went to Mirror Image (命帶追逐) by local new talent Hsiao Ya-chuan (蕭雅全), a film about a man's fate after a car accident. Hsiao also won the Most Promising Director of the Year award for this film. He was assistant director to Ho Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) on Shanghai Flowers (海上花). The romantic comedy The Cabbie (運轉手之戀), which won the Jury's Grand Prize at the Golden Horse Awards last month, picked up another Jury Prize at TFF.

The other winner of Most Promising Director this year was Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄) for his debut Sunny Doll (晴天娃), a film about high school life. Chen's most recent achievement was the script for Chang Chih-yung's (張志勇) Lament of Sand River (沙河悲歌), which was one of the dark horses to emerge from the Golden Horse this year.

The Citizen Film and Video Competition (市民影展), which gives competitors a five minute slot to record their impressions of Taipei, awarded prizes to two foreign filmmakers. Canadian Manm Garceau won a Silver City award, the second best in the competition, for Taipei Save Me (台北救我). Garceau has visited Taipei three times and is currently a student at the Mandarin Training Center attached to the National Taiwan Normal University. Third place went to Toyoharu Kitamura for Obasan (歐巴桑), a film about a middle aged woman. He has lived in Taiwan for three years and is currently a student at the National Taiwan Arts Institute.

The Golden Lion Award for international student films went to Photographer by Alexander Kott, from Russia. The silver and bronze lion awards went to Night Course by Bui Thac Chuyen from Vietnam and The Magic Bell by Auriel Klimt from the Chech Republic, respectively.