MACAU• • Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin swept the 10th Asian Film Awards on Thursday, bagging prizes for Best Film, Actress and Director.
It took home eight out of 15 trophies at the glittering ceremony at the Venetian Macau.
Set in China's Tang-dynasty era, it is a slow-burning minimalist movie with Taiwan's Shu Qi playing a skilled female assassin sent to her home province to kill its governor, who is also the man she loves.
"I'm so lucky this year," Shu Qi, 39, told reporters. She received her Best Actress prize from French star Sophie Marceau.
"I couldn't have made it through the two years of production for The Assassin without (the help of) bandages and medicine," she said about the gruelling physical demands required for the action sequences.
Zhou Yun, wife of Chinese star Jiang Wen, and Japan's Asano Tadanobu won the best supporting acting prizes for The Assassin and Journey To The Shore respectively.
Hou, 68, did not attend.
Korean star Lee Byung Hun was crowned Best Actor for his role in political thriller The Inside Men, while China's Jessie Li won Best Newcomer for Port Of Call, which also clinched best editing honours.
"Today's result is very good... I am very emotional about everybody's support," Lee told reporters.
Jia Zhangke, who directed Mountains May Depart, won for Best Screenplay for the film, while India's Bajirao Mastani, a love story about a general and a Muslim princess, won Best Visual Effects.
Hong Kong's Yuen Wo-ping and Japanese actress Kirin Kiki were given lifetime achievement awards. The awards were organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival.