'Ilo Ilo' wins best film at Golden Horse

'Ilo Ilo' wins best film at Golden Horse
The cast of Ilo Ilo with their trophies.

TAIPEI - Lee Kang Sheng (李康生) and Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) were named best actor and actress for their performances in "Stray Dogs" (郊遊) and "The Grandmaster" (一代宗師), respectively, at the 50th Golden Horse Awards ceremony last night, while Tsai Ming Liang (蔡明亮) captured the best director award for "Stray Dogs."

Singapore director Anthony Chen's (陳哲藝) film "Ilo.Ilo (爸媽不在家)" was named the best feature film.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of many previous winners of the Golden Horse Awards, including Hong Kong actors Andy Lau (劉德華), Aaron Kwok (郭富城) and this year's ceremony ambassador, actress Maggie Cheung (張曼玉). The Golden Horse Awards were founded in 1963, and many outstanding stars and filmmakers have over the years won acclaim at the event, which is considered Chinese-language cinema's equivalent to the Oscars.

Only 37 films were chosen as finalists from a pool of over 250 entries.

The Golden Horse Film Festival that accompanies the awards ceremony kicked off in early November and will last until Nov. 28, bringing many foreign films, past award-winners and the 37 nominees to Taipei cinemas.

Local celebrities Yang Qian-pei (楊千霈) and Huang Zijiao (黃子佼) welcomed stars to the red carpet, and ceremony host Kevin Tsai bantered with nominees after the ceremony had begun. This marked Tsai's seventh time hosting the event.

Taiwanese actress and singer Kuo Shu-yao (郭書瑤) burst into tears after she was announced as the winner of best new performer of the year for her role in "Step Back to Glory," the true story of the perseverance of a group of passionate teenage girls on the Jingmei Girls High School's tug-of-war team. "I didn't prepare anything because I didn't think I would win," sobbed the starlet.

"Beyond Beauty - Taiwan from Above," a documentary made by local civil-servant-turned-director Chi Bo-lin (齊柏林) which features breathtaking views of Taiwan filmed from a bird's-eye view, bagged best documentary award for its gentle environmentalist message and for its qualities that moved many viewers. "It's still in the cinemas now, go and see it!" exclaimed Chi.

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