TAIPEI - Chinese veteran actor Chen Jianbin became the biggest winner at The 51st Golden Horse Awards yesterday, winning in three of the four categories where he was nominated, including best lead actor and best supporting actor.
Chen won the best lead actor award for his performance in "A Fool". The Chinese village drama, which is Chen's directorial debut, also won him the best new director award. He won the best supporting actor award for his role in Taiwanese military drama "Paradise in Service". Chen was also nominated for best adapted screenplay for "A Fool," which was also nominated for best feature film and best supporting actor.
Chen, who has the most nominations of any participant this year, thanked his actress wife Jiang Qinqin when accepting the best lead actor award.
The drama "Blind Massage", about the love, desires and frustrations of a group of visually impaired massage therapists in Nanjing, won the best feature film award. The movie's Chinese director Lou Ye earlier shared his personal thoughts on the film featuring both blind and sighted actors, saying it was a very difficult project for him.
Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang-chyi was presented with the best leading actress award for her stunning performance in "Exit".
The Golden Horse Award for Best Director went to Hong Kong director Ann Hui for her film "The Golden Era".
The best supporting actress award went to China's Wan Qian for her role as a prostitute in "Paradise in Service," a coming-of-age story about a young soldier.
"I am so surprised," an excited Wan said in her acceptance speech. "It really didn't occur to me that I would get the award."
The 32-year-old said the award is a wonderful recognition of her performance and she hopes one day to win the Golden Horse for best lead actress.
One of the most anticipated events of the evening last night was the performance of Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung. After 15 years, Cheung took the stage with his signature voice to perform his latest song based on the story of a real-life couple in Taiwan. The song was accompanied by a 22-piece orchestra that featured renowned Taiwanese musicians
Another highlight of the evening was the appearance of retired Golden Horse-winning actor Sun Yueh, who came back on screen only to honour veteran actor Tien Feng as the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Filmmakers, actors and actresses from across the Chinese-speaking world were earlier greeted by enthusiastic crowds as they walked down the red carpet to attend the ceremony.
Taiwanese actress Gwei Lun-mei, who was nominated for the best actress award for her performance in the Chinese movie "Black Coal, Thin Ice" and served as the award's ambassador, drew cheers from the crowd at the red-carpet event.
Chinese actress Gong Li drew attention with her glittering golden gown. She said it is a pity that she has never participated in the awards ceremony before this year's and was glad to be present.
Other celebrities, including Hong Kong actor Sean Lau, Chinese actresses Tang Wei and Zhang Ziyi, and Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase also took to the red carpet.
The annual Golden Horse Awards is one of the most prestigious film honors in the Chinese-speaking world.
The ceremony was held at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall yesterday by local TV personalities Huang Zi-jiao and Ella Chen. The panel of judges this year were led by acclaimed Chinese Hollywood actress Joan Chen.
Taiwan's favourite movie "KANO" did not win big yesterday. The film was received positively by local moviegoers, going as far as being released twice at different times this year. The film was also hailed as one of the favorites to win the best picture award. Reasons for the film's acclaim were not only a result of its interesting plot, but also because of its first-time actor turned director.