Singaporean family drama Ilo Ilo (爸媽不在家) was the biggest surprise winner at the 50th Golden Horse Awards, which were held at the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei on Saturday night, receiving the trophy for Best Feature Film, presented by Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and Ang Lee (李安), who chaired the jury. Singaporean director Anthony Chen (陳哲藝) won Best New Director for the film.
Meanwhile, director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) was honored with Best Director for Stray Dogs (郊遊). Earlier this year, Tsai expressed his frustration over mainstream audiences’ tastes and said that Stray Dogs could be his last feature-length work.
The 138-minute-long film had also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival in September.
Taiwan’s Lee Kang-sheng (李康生) beat Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu Wai (梁朝偉), Nick Cheung (張家輝) and Tony Leung Ka Fai (梁家輝) to take home the trophy in the Best Leading Actor category for his performance in Stray Dogs, in which he plays a homeless father who struggles to survive with his son and daughter on the streets of Taipei.
Despite competition from Taiwanese actresses Shu Qi (舒淇) and Gwei Lun-mei (桂綸鎂), China’s Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) walked away with her first Golden Horse award for Best Leading Actress for her role in The Grandmaster (一代宗師) from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai (王家衛).
Although The Grandmaster led the pack with 11 nominations, Wong did not win the much-coveted top honors of Best Feature Film and Best Director.
Nevertheless, the exquisitely executed martial arts film fared well in technical categories, picking up awards for Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, Art Direction and Makeup and Costume Design.