Oscar-winning Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee (李安) on Saturday called China’s boycott of this year’s Golden Horse Awards regrettable, but said it would continue to welcome all Chinese-language films.
“Our arms will always be open,” Lee said after the 56th Golden Horse Awards at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.
In August, Beijing banned Chinese films and filmmakers from participating in the awards, chaired this year by Lee, in response to comments made during last year’s event by Taiwanese documentary director Fu Yue (傅榆), who said during her acceptance speech that she hoped Taiwan would be treated as an “independent entity,” drawing rebuke from Chinese filmmakers in attendance.
Lee said that China’s boycott was definitely a loss for the awards, but the quality of the films submitted was not reduced.
“Though we do not wish to see political situations, we must face them,” Lee said, adding that the awards would continue to strive to be a platform for all Chinese-language cinema, as well as one that nurtures filmmakers.
“I’m sure that everyone who has participated in the Golden Horse Awards feel a sense of coming home, a sense of mutual support in difficult times and a sense of learning,” Lee said.
In other news from the awards, Taiwanese director Chung Mong-hong’s (鍾孟宏) family drama A Sun (陽光普照) and Taiwanese director John Hsu’s (徐漢強) psychological horror film Detention (返校) were the biggest winners at this year’s awards.
A Sun, which entered the competition with 10 nominations, came away with best feature film, best director, best leading actor, best supporting male actor, best film editing and the audience choice award.
The nearly three-hour feature tells the story of a family managing life in the wake of a crime committed by the youngest son of a driving instructor and a hairdresser, and the struggles of the elder son, a high-school senior preparing for his medical school entrance exam.
The judges said the film is filled with emotion and pays special attention to the hidden corners of peoples’ souls. It also exposes the contrast and complements of good and evil.
Detention, which entered the competition with 12 nods, came out with best new director, best art direction, best original film score, best adapted screenplay and best visual effects.
The movie, set in the 1960s during the White Terror era, is an adaptation of a survival horror adventure video game created by Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games.
It became the highest-grossing domestic movie in Taiwan this year within three days of its release in September, and has since raked in more than NT$250 million (US$8.2 million) in box office receipts.
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