The locally produced psychological horror film Detention (返校) was the biggest winner at the Taipei Film Awards on Saturday, snatching up the NT$1 million (US$33,769) grand prize and five others.
The high-grossing film, adapted from a video game of the same name, also clinched awards for Best Narrative Feature, Best Actress, Best Art Design, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Design.
The film grossed more than NT$67.7 million at the box office in its first three days.
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
Set in the 1960s during the White Terror era, the movie follows two high school students trapped in an empty school full of vengeful spirits, as they search for a teacher who has disappeared.
The jury praised the film as unique in Taiwan’s movie history.
“This movie opens new doors for filmmaking in Taiwan because the idea for the film came from a video game, but it also addresses Taiwan’s White Terror history,” jury president Wu Nien-jen (吳念真) said.
“This is a direction that Taiwan can build on in the future,” Wu said.
Gingle Wang (王淨) won Best Actress for her role in the film.
Mo Tzu-yi (莫子儀) won Best Actor for the crime drama Dear Tenant (親愛的房客), which investigates the death of a grandmother and the tenant of her rooftop apartment.
Chang Jung-chi (張榮吉) won Best Director for the basketball drama We Are Champions (下半場), which focuses on the relationship of two brothers.
The film also clinched the awards for Best Cinematography, accepted by filmmaker Chen Ta-pu (陳大璞), and Outstanding Artistic Contribution, won by stunt performer Hung Shih-hao (洪?顥) and choreographer Chia Fan (賈凡).
The Best Documentary award was given to Wu Hui-ling (吳蕙伶) on behalf of her elder sister Wu Yu-ying (吳郁瑩), who directed The Good Daughter (阿紫), a film about the staggering account of a Vietnamese immigrant who faces a dilemma in trying to support her disabled husband and her family in Vietnam.
The film focuses on the marginalized community and records the challenges people at the edge of society face, the jury said.
Wu Yu-ying also won the Best Editing award for the documentary.
Lo Chen-wen (羅晨文) accepted the award for Best Short Film for directing the 16-minute In This Land We’re Briefly Ghosts (幽魂之境).
Based on a true story, the movie follows 12-year-old soldier Su Su Myat and her mute brother, who are imprisoned after deserting their unit. Denied food and water, Su Su Myat is forced to choose between killing her ill brother or risking dying with him.
This year, 331 films — 51 feature films, 49 documentaries, 187 short films and 44 animations — were submitted to the awards’ selection committee.
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