Female stars turn heads at the Golden Horse Awards

The women stole the show at the Golden Horse Awards on Saturday evening - both on stage and on the red carpet.

The Golden Horse, Taiwan's equivalent of the Oscars, honours the best in Asian cinema over the past year. It was held at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.

Taiwanese actress Shu Qi, 40, one of the guest presenters of the night, was teased endlessly by event host Matilda Tao.

Tao sent the audience into a frenzy when she said: "I really have to thank Shu Qi for coming here. Furthermore, she is wearing high heels.

"Is this hint obvious enough? I'll leave the media to make their guesses. Anyway, if she doesn't admit or deny, the speculation can go on for another three months."

Taos' remarks seemed to suggest that Shu, who had announced her marriage to Hong Kong actor Stephen Fung in September, is pregnant with her first child.

Chinese couples consider it unlucky to announce a pregnancy till after the first trimester.

Shu appeared surprised at Tao's spontaneous ribbing. Later, Shu's manager told reporters backstage that she is "not pregnant", insisting that "the two ladies were just joking around".

Chinese star Fan Bingbing, 35, who was in an elegant Elie Saab blue gown, took the opportunity to send her belated thanks to the Golden Horse Awards organising committee for handing her the Best Supporting Actress accolade in 2006, in recognition of her performance in horror flick The Matrimony.

"Ten years ago, I couldn't attend the awards ceremony," she said.

"When I received the news that I had won, I was so jubilant and in my mind, I was going, 'This is crazy. Unbelievable.' Thank you very much, Golden Horse," said Fan, who was nominated this time round for Best Actress, but did not win.

The acclaimed Chinese coming-of-age film Soul Mate scored a double win in the Best Actress category, with both its leading stars Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun sharing the award.

On the red carpet, Italian-Taiwanese actress Tiffany Hsu, 32, turned heads with her cleavage-baring white gown that reportedly cost $150 million RMB (S$3 million).

Malaysian singer and songwriter Zee Avi flew the flag high for South-east Asia by winning Best Original Film Song for Arena Cahaya, which she had penned for the Malaysian sports film Ola Bola.

"This is a movie about unity and diversity. I'm very proud to be able to be part of this project that has so much love," said the 30-year-old musician.

Veteran French actress Juliette Binoche, 52, brought a touch of European glamour to the awards ceremony when she presented an award with Taiwanese arthouse filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

"You have directors who just want to fit in, and you have directors who have a vision and want to make a difference. Hou is such a director. You don't know how much we love him in Europe," Binoche praised Hou effusively, to cheers from the crowd.

"I'm looking forward to working with more of you guys in Asia," she added.

Main winners at the Golden Horse Awards 2016

Best Feature Film

The Summer Is Gone

Best Director

Feng Xiaogang (I Am Not Madame Bovary)

Best Actor

Fan Wei (Mr. No Problem)

Best Actress

Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun (Soul Mate)

Best Supporting Actor

Austin Lin (At Cafe 6)

Best Supporting Actress

Elaine Jin (Mad World)

Best New Director

Wong Chun (Mad World)

Best New Actor

Kong Weiyi (The Summer Is Gone)

Best Original Screenplay

Loong Man Hong, Thomas Ng, Mak Tin-shu (Trivisa)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Mei Feng, Huang Shi (Mr. No Problem)

Best Original Film Song

Arena Cahaya (Zee Avi, Rendra Zawawi)

Best Original Film Score

City of Jade (Lim Giong)

This article was first published on Nov 28, 2016.
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