The evening of November 25th saw the 54th edition of the Golden Horse Awards, the longest-running awards for Chinese-language cinema, hosted in Taipei.
Here are a few of our observations from the evening, as well as the award winners.
Taiwanese films win big
It’s been a few years since Taiwanese films have had such a successful outing. Although recent years have seen co-productions such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin 刺客聶隱娘 do well, fully made-in-Taiwan productions have rarely won the big prizes. That’s not a surprise, considering the growth in both the volume and budget of films coming from the mainland.
Not this year.
Taiwanese productions took home Best Film, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Best Supporting Actor, as well as a host of other awards.
The biggest winner was undoubtedly The Bold, the Corrupt, and The Beautiful 血觀音, the latest from director Yang Ya-che 楊雅喆, which took home four of the 8 categories it was nominated in.
The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯 also had great success, including Best New Director and adapted screenplay.
And Bamboo Chen 陳竹昇 was rewarded for a fantastic year with the Best Supporting Actor award for his incredible portrayal of a transgender aboriginal in Alifu the Prince/ss 阿莉芙.
Female directors on top
In Hollywood, it remains a topic of some discussion how few female directors are recognised at the highest level. So it was certainly good to see that three of the 5 nominees for Best Director at the Golden Horse Awards were women, and that a woman took home the top prize. Something special guest Jessica Chastain noted on Twitter:
Best part of being at #GoldenHorse2017 was seeing how many women are involved in filmmaking. In the best director category 3 out of 5 were women. The Golden Horse Awards have become the highest accolade for all Chinese-language filmmakers.
We can learn something from this. ♥ pic.twitter.com/p1mNvGIgbM
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) November 26, 2017
Of course, awards should be judged on merit, but there’s no doubting the quality of films and freshness of perspective female directors can make when given the opportunities.
Best Film – The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful 血觀音
Best Director – Vivian Qu 文晏 (Angels Wear White 嘉年華)
Best Original Screenplay – Zhou Ziyang 周子陽 (Old Beast 老獸)
Best Adapted Screenplay – Huang Hsin-yao 黃信堯 (The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯)
Best Actor – Tu Men 涂門 (Old Beast 老獸)
Best Actress – Kara Wai 惠英紅 (The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful 血觀音)
Best Supporting Actor – Bamboo Chen 陳竹昇 (Alifu the Prince/ss 阿莉芙)
Best Supporting Actress – Vicky Chen 文淇 (The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful 血觀音)
Best Documentary – Inmates 囚
Best Animation – Have a Nice Day 大世界
Best Short Film – Babes’ Not Alone 亮亮與噴子
Best Animated Short – Losing Sight of a Longed Place 暗房夜空
Best Cinematography – Nakashima Nagao 中島長雄 (The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯)
Best Visual Effects – Johnny Lin 林哲民, Perry Kain, Thomas Reppen (See You Tomorrow 擺渡人)
Best Art Direction – Alfred Yau 邱偉明 (See You Tomorrow 擺渡人)
Best Makeup and Costume Design – William Chang 張叔平, Cheung Siu Hong 張兆康 (See You Tomorrow 擺渡人)
Best Action Choreography – Sang Lin 桑林 (Brother of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield 繡春刀 II 修羅戰場)
Best Original Score – Lin Sheng-xiang (The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯)
Best Original Song – To Have or Not to Have (The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯)
Best Film Editing – Jean Tsien 錢孝貞, Bob Lee 李博 (Plastic China 塑膠王國)
Best Sound Effects – Tu Duu-chih 杜篤之, Wu Shu-yao 吳書瑤, Tu Chun-tang 杜均堂 (Mon Mon Mon Monsters! 報告老師！ 怪怪怪怪物！)
Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year – Hu Ding-yi 胡定一
Lifetime Award – Hsu Feng 徐楓
Best New Director – Huang Hsin-yao 黃信堯 (The Great Buddha+ 大佛普拉斯)
Best New Performer – Rima Zeidan 瑞瑪席丹 (Missing Johnny 強尼 凱克)
Audience Choice – The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful 血觀音