China-set family drama Stonewalling, which was co-directed by husband-and-wife team Ryuji Otsuka and Huang Ji, won best narrative feature at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards this year. The honor comes after the feature premiered at the Venice Film Festival and also won best film in the Hong Kong Film Festival’s Young Cinema Competition
Stonewalling also won best editing at the Golden Horse Film Awards, which is celebrating its 60th edition this year. The award was shared by Otsuka and Taiwan’s Liao Ching-sung. The latter won his first Golden Horse award after receiving 12 nominations over the last four decades.
The awards were evenly spread among the nominated movies. Taiwan’s Wu Kang-ren won best leading actor for his role as a deaf-mute in the Malaysian drama Abang Adik. The best actress honor went to 12-year-old Audrey Lin for her role in Trouble Girl, which makes her the youngest performer ever to be named as the best actress winner in Golden Horse awards history.
Old Fox helmer Hsiao Ya-chuan was named best director, which marks his first Golden Horse award. Hong Kong filmmaker Nick Cheuk won best new director for Time Still Turns the Pages.
Old Fox was a multiple award winner at the ceremony. It also won best supporting actor for Akio Chen’s performance, best makeup & costume design and best original film score. Best supporting actress went to Beatrice Fang for Day Off, which also won best original film song.
Three-time Oscar-winning Taiwanese filmmaker, Ang Lee served as the president of this year’s Golden Horse Film Awards jury. The jury presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to iconic Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin.
Veteran Taiwanese cinematographer Chen Kun-hou was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He won his first best cinematography Golden Horse Awards in 1978 for his work on the biographical drama, He Never Gives Up. Producer Lin Shih-ken (The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful) was awarded Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year.
Several high-profile filmmakers and performers also served at presenters at the Golden Horse Film Awards. They included Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano and actors Koji Yakusho (Perfect Days), Chang Chen (Dune) and Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Assassin). Yakusho and Kitano both also held master classes at the Golden Horse Film Festival earlier in the week.
The Golden Horse Film Awards are considered to be the most prestigious awards ceremony for Chinese-language cinema from across the East Asia region. However, the ceremony has been boycotted by mainland China since 2018, after the winner of best documentary made a reference to Taiwan’s independence in her acceptance speech (Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province of China rather than a separate country).
Since then, very few mainland Chinese movies have nominated at the ceremony. Hong Kong filmmakers have felt pressure not to attend the ceremony if they’re looking for any form of distribution in China.
The nominees this year included movies that were shot in China or have other mainland ties, but are not claiming Chinese nationality. Stonewalling was filmed in China but is classified as a Japanese production.
This year’s ceremony was free from major controversy. However, young filmmaker Ho Sze-wai mentioned freedom of speech when accepting the best live-action short award for Before the Box Gets Emptied. The filmmaker said: “I hope people in Hong Kong can be braver to tell their own stories. We should be recording how Hong Kong people really live.”
The 60th edition of the Golden Horse Awards took place on November 25 at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei City. Th complete list of winners from the ceremony is below:
Best Director – HSIAO Ya-chuan, Old Fox
Best Leading Actor – WU Kang-ren, Abang Adik
Best Leading Actress – Audrey LIN, Trouble Girl
Best Supporting Actor – Akio CHEN, Old Fox
Best Supporting Actress – Beatrice FANG, Day Off
Best New Director – Nick CHEUK, Time Still Turns the Pages
Best New Performer – TSE Wing-yan, Fly Me to the Moon
Best Original Screenplay – SUN Jie, The Mountain is Coming
Best Adapted Screenplay – WU Chin-jung, CHENG Wei-hao, Marry My Dead Body
Best Cinematography – YU Jing-pin, Fish Memories
Best Visual Effects – ArChin YEN, Eye of the Storm
Best Art Direction – HUANG Mei-ching, TU Shuo-feng, Eye of the Storm
Best Makeup & Costume Design – WANG Chih-cheng, Shirley KAO, Old Fox
Best Film Editing – LIAO Ching-sung, OTSUKA Ryuji, Stonewalling
Best Sound Effects –TU Duu-chih, WU Shu-yao, CHEN Kuan-ting, Snow in Midsummer
Best Original Film Score – Chris HOU, Old Fox
Best Original Film Song – The Usual, Day Off
Best Action Choreography – HUNG Shih-hao, The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon
Best Live Action Short Film – Before the Box Gets Emptied, dir: HO Sze-wai
Best Animated Feature – Pigsy, dir: CHIU Li-wei
Best Documentary Feature – Youth (Spring), dir: WANG Bing
Best Animated Short Film – Monsoon Blue, dirs: Ellis CHAN Ka-yin, WONG Hiu-kit
Best Documentary Short Film – The Memo, dir: Badlands Film Group