TAIPEI - Two actresses shared the top honours for Best Actress, as some of the biggest stars in Chinese-language cinema gathered in Taipei on Saturday (Nov 26) for this year's Golden Horse film awards.
Chinese actresses Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun won for the film Soul Mate. The Best Actor award went to Fan Wei for Mr No Problem, and Best Director to Feng Xiaogang, director of I Am Not Madame Bovary.
The renowned director from China had won the Best Leading Actor award in 2015 for his performance in the film Mr Six.
The last award of the night went to The Summer Is Gone for Best Film. The black-and-white drama about a boy's last summer vacation before he enters junior high school by Chinese director Zhang Dalei pipped hot favourite Godspeed, which picked up only one award among its eight nominations.
Earlier, Taiwanese film-maker and actress Sylvia Chang, France's Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche, Taiwanese actress Shu Qi and Korean actor Song Seung Heon were among the celebrities to walk down the red carpet for the awards ceremony, touted as the Chinese equivalent of the Oscars.
Amid the light drizzle, fans also gathered to see their idols arrive at the at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall on Saturday evening.
The 53rd edition of the award ceremony saw 47 films compete in 22 categories.
The Summer Is Gone
Feng Xiaogang (I Am Not Madame Bovary)
Best New Director
Wong Chun (Mad World)
Fan Wei (Mr No Problem)
Best Actress (Joint Winners)
Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun (Soul Mate)
Best New Performer
Kong Weiyi (The Summer Is Gone)
Best Supporting Actor
Lin Po-hung (At Cafe 6)
Best live action short film
A Sunny Day
Best animated short film
Wander In The Dark
Mark Lee Ping-bing (Crosscurrent)
Best Original Screenplay
Best Supporting Actress
Elaine Jin (Mad World)
Best Film Editing
Allen Leung Chin-lun and David Richardson (Triviṣa)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Mei Feng, Huang Shi (Mr. No Problem)
Best Visual Effects
Mojin-The Lost Legend
Best Action Choreography
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup/Costume Design
Best Art Direction
Chao Shih Hao (Godspeed)
Best Music Score
City of Jade
Best Original Song
Arena Cahaya ( OlaBola )
Lyrics: Zee Avi, Rendra Zawawi
Composer: Zee Avi, Rendra Zawawi Performer : Zee Avi
When asked about this year's competition, the chair of this year's Golden Horse Awards jury, Ms Ann Hui, said 10 judges went through "life-and-death" process to reach the final decision on the winners.
Godspeed, a road movie-cum-crime caper by Taiwan's Chung Mong-hong, led the field with eight nominations for the awards, including for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Leading Actor and Supporting Actor.
Godspeed is about a drug mule who travels across Taiwan to deliver heroin, and a taxi driver who unwittingly becomes the drug dealer's driver and finds himself caught up in a drug delivery gone wrong.
Also up for best film prize were Trivisa by Hong Kong's first-time directors Frank Hui, Jevons Au and Vicky Wong Wai-Kit, a drama about three Hong Kong mobsters who are rumoured to plot a crime, even though they are unaware of it; Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's I Am Not Madame Bovary, a melodrama about how a woman who was swindled by her husband and has to fight China's legal system to have her divorce nullified; The Road To Mandalay, a tale of the live and love of migrants from Myanmar who sneak into Thailand in search for a better life by Myanmar- born, Taiwan-based film-maker Midi Z ; and The Summer Is Gone.
Soul Mate, a mainland-set drama about early womanhood, scored seven nominations including one each for its two lead actresses Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun, both of who won.
The film's Hong Kong director Derek Tsang, son of Hong Kong actor and best supporting actor nominee Eric Tsang, was battling Chung, Z, Feng, the eventual winner, and Hong Kong director Johnnie To for the best director award.
In the best actor category, comeback kid Kai Ko was hoping to validate his career turnaround in the Best Actor category for his role as an illegal Myanmar migrant in The Road To Mandalay.
The 25-year-old Taiwanese was arrested in 2014 in Beijing for using marijuana. For that offence, he was detained for two weeks and banned from working in Chinese show business.
Ko was the only Taiwanese in the best actor category and is up against veterans: Hong Kong comedy legend Michael Hui, A-listers Tony Leung Ka Fai and Jacky Cheung, and also Chinese actor Fan Wei, who eventually won.
Fresh from her acting win at the the San Sebastian film festival for her role in I Am Not Madame Bovary, Chinese star Fan Bingbing was a favourite in the Best Leading Actress for the same film.
Battling for the crown were Taiwan actresses Wu Ke-Xi, Hsu Wei-ning and Chinese actresses Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun, both of who scored a rare double win.
Among the highlights for Saturday's awards show were performances by singer CoCo Lee who sang classic love songs from several movies, including A Love Before Time and I have Nothing.
Singaporean songbird Stefanie Sun also performed. Backed by the Taipei Children's Philharmonic Chorus, she performed a medley of songs including Beatles classic Across The Universe to showcase the "inner heart of a child".