Thu, Apr 18, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Lai’s sci-fi thriller takes top prize at screenplay awards

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Screenwriter Lai Tung-che makes his acceptance speech at the Taipei New Horizon building on Monday after winning the top prize for unproduced scripts at the annual Excellent Screenplay Awards held by the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development.

Photo: CNA

Screenwriter Lai Tung-che (賴東澤) on Monday took home the top prize for unproduced scripts at the annual Excellent Screenplay Awards held by the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development in Taipei.

His winning script, titled Den Ensamstaende (紅星孤旅), is a sci-fi thriller about an astronaut’s run-in with intelligent machines on Mars.

Writing a script is like creating a small universe, said Lai at the Taipei New Horizon building, where he accepted the award along with a NT$600,000 (US$19,450) cash prize.

Lai — who posts his works on the creative writing platform Mirror Fiction (鏡文學) under the pen name Rocke Ryan L”s — said he hoped that the universes he has created would entertain audiences in the future.

Novelist Chang Yao-sheng (張耀升), also of Mirror Fiction, won one of 13 third-place prizes — which came with a NT$100,000 check — for Tui (腿), a dark comedy.

Other third-prize winners included directors Ko Chen-nien (柯貞年) and An Bon (安邦), actress Wu Ke-xi (吳可熙) and actor Soda Voyu (蘇達).

Wu won the award for Nina Wu (灼人秘密), a thriller she wrote with director Midi Z (趙德胤) between acting gigs.

Nina Wu, which is in post-production, was inspired by her experiences in the entertainment business, Wu said.

Shan Hsia Wu Min (山下無名), Voyu’s first script, is about a man who discovers his Aboriginal grandmother’s past.

Voyu — who submitted a script for last year’s contest, but was not selected — encouraged writers not to give up.

In her acceptance speech, second-time winner Hui Wu (繪武), who took home a second-place prize for Tao Chai Nu Wang (討債女王), said that the bureau should provide prize money to nominees as an incentive.

It is difficult for screenwriters to earn a living in Taiwan, she said, adding that they often do not receive fair pay for their work.

The NT$100,000 cash prize that she received last year for Ai Te Cha Chi Fan (愛的詐欺犯) covered her living expenses for four months, she added.

The bureau said that it would consider her advice.

The bureau received 335 submissions this year, 38 of which were nominated. The winners were chosen through a blind selection process to receive NT$4 million in prize money.

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