Hong Kong’s ‘A Simple Life’ sweeps ‘Chinese Oscars’

Hong Kong actress Deanie Ip (right) and actor Andy Lau display their trophies after winning the "Best Leading Actress" and the "Best Leading Actor" awards for the film 'A Simple Life' during the 48th Golden Horse Film Awards in northern Hsinchu on Nov 26. - AFP photo

HSINCHU, Taiwan: Hong Kong drama ‘A Simple Life’ swept the board Saturday at the Golden Horse Film Awards – known as the Chinese-language Oscars – with gongs for best picture, director, actor and actress.

“I want to thank director Ann Hui and Andy Lau for giving me this opportunity to play so I can be so lucky in my old days,” Hong Kong actress Deanie Ip, who took the “Best Leading Actress” award, told the crowd at a gala ceremony in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan.

Ip, 64, played a servant who wants to move into a nursing home after suffering a stroke in ‘A Simple Life’, a role that also won her the best actress award at September’s Venice film festival.

Ann was crowned best director and Andy best actor for the film, based on the true story of veteran Hong Kong film producer Roger Lee.

“I am very happy to win – I hope I won’t have a stroke,” joked Ann, who saw off popular Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng and Chinese veteran Jiang Wen.

However, as Andy collected his award, he said Hong Kong’s film industry was at a low point and he hoped it would pick up to emulate Taiwan.

Wei, whose aboriginal war epic ‘Seediq Bale’ led the race with 11 nominations, walked away with the best picture and two technical awards as well as best supporting actor for Bokeh Kosang.

“I am really grateful to my co-workers and I am sorry to have kept you in the mountains for so long. I also want to thank all the ‘angels’ who financed the film,” Wei said.

‘Seediq Bale’ was based on the true story of a mountain headhunting tribe fighting against Japanese colonial forces in the 1930s, and became Taiwan’s most expensive production with a cost of US$23 million (RM73.3 million).

Wei told AFP in an earlier interview that shooting the film in the mountains was challenging, while securing enough funding to keep the production rolling was a constant struggle.

The best new performer prize went to 20-year-old Ko Chen-tung for playing writer Giddens Ko in the teen romance ‘You are the Apple of My Eye’, which has topped box offices in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Chinese films notably missed out in the major categories this year, although acclaimed director Jiang Wen’s black comedy ‘Let the Bullets Fly’ took best adapted screenplay and best cinematography.

Nearly 30 films from Taiwan, China and Hong Kong were nominated in the 48th edition of the Golden Horse Awards, styled after the US Academy Awards but decided by a jury along the lines of the Cannes film festival.

Following is a list of the winners of Taiwan’s 48th annual Golden Horse Film Awards, announced Saturday:

Best Picture: ‘Seediq Bale’

Best Director: Ann Hui (‘A Simple Life’)

Best Leading Actor: Andy Lau (‘A Simple Life’)

Best Leading Actress: Deanie Ip (‘A Simple Life’)

Best Supporting Actor: Bokeh Kosang (‘Seediq Bale’)

Best Supporting Actress: Tang Qun (‘Return Ticket’)

Best New Director: Wuershan (‘The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman’)

Best New Performer: Ko Chen-tung (‘You Are the Apple of My Eye’)

Best Original Screenplay: Yang Nan-Chian, Teng Yung-shing, Qin Hai-lu, Ge Wen-zhe, Xi Ran (‘Return Ticket’)

Best Screenplay Adaptation: Zhu Su-jin, Shu Ping, Jiang Wen, Guo Jun-li, Wei Xiao, Li Bu-kong (‘Let the Bullets Fly’)

Best Cinematography: Zhao Fei (‘Let the Bullets Fly’)

Best Visual Effects: Yung Kwok-yin, Andy Kang (‘Wu Xia’)

Best Art Direction: Yee Chung-man (‘Wu Xia’)

Best Make-up/Costume Design: Hao Yi (‘The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman’)

Best Action Choreography: Donnie Yen (‘Wu Xia’)

Best Film Editing: Chen Hsiao-tung (‘The Man Behind the Book’)

Best Original Film Score: Ricky Ho (‘Seediq Bale’)

Best Original Film Song: ‘Perfect Landing’ (‘Jump Ashin’)

Best Sound Effects: Tu Duu-chih (‘Seediq Bale’)

Best Documentary: ‘Hometown Boy ‘

Best Short Film: ‘Thief ‘

Outstanding Taiwanese Film-maker of the Year: Wong Wei-liu

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ting Shan-si – AFP

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