Highlight of the 50th Golden Horse Awards

Golden Horse Awards is an annual awards presentation in Taiwan to honour the best of Chinese films. Regarded as the ‘Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world’, this year marks the 50th edition of the awards. Couldn’t believe that the awards had been held for half a century. In conjunction with its 50th birthday, everything gets much larger and prestigious and the awards receive the highest ever global media exposure and interest of the worldwide audiences.


Maggie Cheung, the four-times best actress winner (highest number of wins) was the ambassador of the awards while the critically-acclaimed two-time winning Oscar director, Ang Lee was the head of jury. Films from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore were nominated this year. The awards ceremony was attended by the largest ever superstars whom include Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Nick Cheung, Sean Lau, Carina Lau, Carol Cheng, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan, Sylvia Chang, Tsai-chin, etc. I recognized mostly Hong Kong artistes only. Kevin Tsai hosted the show.


Hereby is the list of nominations released early October with the winner highlighted in bold.

Best Feature Film
Drug War (China/Hong Kong)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong/China)
Ilo Ilo (Singapore)
Stray Dogs (Taiwan)
Touch of Sin (China/Japan)

Best Director
Chung Mong-hong, Soul
Jia Zhangke, Touch of Sin
Johnnie To, Drug War
Tsai Ming-liang, Stray Dogs
Wong Kar-wai, The Grandmaster

Best New Director
Anthony Chen, Ilo Ilo
Hsu Chao-jen, Together
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, Cold War
Juno Mak, Rigor Mortis
Zhao Wei, So Young

Best Leading Actor
Nick Cheung, Unbeatable
Lee Kang-sheng; Stray Dogs
Tony Leung Chiu-wai, The Grandmaster
Tony Leung Ka-fai, Cold War
Jimmy Wang, Soul

Best Leading Actress
Sammi Cheng, Blind Detective
Gwei Lun-mei, Christmas Rose
Cherry Ngan, The Way We Dance
Shu Qi, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster

Best Supporting Actor
Chen Tian Wen, Ilo Ilo
Huang Bo, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
LI Xuejian, Back to 1942
Eddie Peng, Unbeatable
Tong Dawei, American Dreams in China

Best Supporting Actress
Crystal Lee, Unbeatable
Lin Mei-hsiu, To My Dear Granny
Susan Shaw, Tales from the Dark Part 1
Xue Hong, Longing for the Rain
Yeo Yann Yann, Ilo Ilo

Best New Performer
Dong Zijian, Young Style
Huang Shao-yang, Together
Koh Jia Ler, Ilo Ilo
Kuo Shu-yau, Step Back to Glory
Yang Liang-yu, A Time in Quchi

Best Original Screenplay
Anthony Chen; Ilo Ilo
Robert Chou, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam, American Dreams in China
Arthur Chu, To My Dear Granny
Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi, Drug War

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Li Qiang, So Young
Liu Zhenyun, Back to 1942

Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year
Yeh Ju-Feng
Liao Ching-Song
Tsai Ming-Hsiu

Best Cinematography
Nakashima Nagao, Soul.
Lu Yue, Back to 1942.
Yu Lik Wai, A Touch of Sin.
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster.
Liao Pen Jung, Shong Woon Chong, and Lu Qing Xin, Stray Dogs.

Best Visual Effects
Chang Hong Song, Back to 1942.
Pierre Buffin, The Grandmaster.
In-Ho Lee, Jong Pill Kim, Ken Law, and Wing Tsang, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Enoch Chan, Rigor Mortis.
Chau Chi Shing, Chas, Chan Chi Ho, Lewis, Johnny Lin, and Shaun Su, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Art Direction
Chao Shih Hao, Soul.
Shi Hai Ying, Back to 1942.
Li Yang, So Young.
William Chang Suk Ping and Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster.
Penny Tsai Pei-Ling, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Make-Up and Costume Design
Tim Yip, Back to 1942.
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster.
Bruce Yu Ka-on and Lee Pik Kwan, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Heidi Chun, and Kittichon Kunratchol, Rigor Mortis.
Dora Ng, American Dreams in China.

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan, He Jun, and JC Stunt Team, CZ12.
Shing Mak, The Way We Dance.
Yuen Wo Ping, The Grandmaster.
Ling Chi Wah, Unbeatable.
Stephen Chow and Ku Huen-chiu, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.

Best Original Film Score
Ricky Ho and Lin Ching-tai, Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.
Patrick Jonsson, Bends.
Lim Giong, A Touch of Sin.
Wu Rui-Ran, A Time in Quchi.
Owen Wang, Zone Pro Site.

Best Short Film
The Busy Young Psychic.
A Breath from the Bottom.
Butter Lamp.

Best Documentary
Boundary Revelation.
Pusu Qhuni.
Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.

Best Original Film Song
“I Love You.” Lyric: Spark Chen. Composer: Spark Chen. Performer: Sleepy Dads. (Rock Me to the Moon).
“Make a Film.” Lyric: Ah Di-zai. Composer: Ah Di-zai and Liao Wei Chieh. Performer: One Two Three (Forever Love).
“To Youth.” Lyric: Li Qiang. Composer: Dou Peng. Performer: Wang Fei. (So Young).
“Jin Ma Mo Un.” Lyric: Ma Nien-Hsien. Composer: Ma Nien-Hsien. Performer: Ma Nien-Hsien. (Zone Pro Site).
“Old Love Song.” Lyric: Sonia Sui and Suming.Rupi. Composer: Suming Rupi.Performer: Kenny Bee. (Together).

Best Film Editing
Matthieu Laclau and Lin Xudong, A Touch of Sin.
William Chang Suk Ping, Benjamin Courtines, and Poon Hung Yiu, The Grandmaster.
Azrael Chung, Unbeatable.
David Richardson and Allen Leung, Drug War.
Xiao Yang, American Dreams in China.

Best Sound Effects
WU Shu-Yao and Lee Yu-Chih, Pusu Qhuni.
Tu Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Soul.
Robert Mackenzie and Trithep Wangpaiboon, The Grandmaster.
Phyllis Cheng, Unbeatable.
TU Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Stray Dogs.

Audience Choice Awards – The Grandmaster.

FIPRESCI Prize – Rigor Mortis.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Chen Chen.

‘The Grandmaster’ which received 11 nominations, the highest ever, won 5 (not including the audience choice awards), hence still becoming the biggest winner of the awards. However, the top honour; best feature film goes to ‘Ilo Ilo’, a Singaporean film which also won 3 other awards. It’s quite surprising that this Singaporean film could achieve that much. For the best leading actor, I was stunned when Lee Kang sheng for ‘Stray Dogs’ won it while earlier, I totally predicted that it was a fierce fight only between the three Hong Kong highly professional actors; Nick Cheung, and the two Tony Leung. I was wrong. I knew earlier already that Zhang Ziyi would win the best leading actress, but my favourite is still Sammi Cheng. She still had no fate with awards. Hope she will win best actress in near future as her acting is nevertheless impressive. In the media reporting after the awards, Ang Lee mentioned that Zhang Ziyi actually edged out Sammi Cheng closely in the best actress race after three rounds of voting. Luck is not on her side in the end.


On the other hand, I am also glad that Tsai Ming-liang won the best director because he is actually from Malaysia (now living in Taiwan). Same goes to Yeo Yann Yann who won best supporting actress (also from Malaysia but live in Singapore now). The show started from 5.30pm for a star-studded red carpet segment of one and a half hour, before moving on to the awards presentation itself that took five hours. It finally ended on 12am midnight. What a long show. The attendees must be very hungry and tiring for sitting in so many hours straight. I watched several parts of it, and the ones I like the most are the clip showing of the former 49 best actor and actress winners. I was awed too by the last segment on which around 40 former best actor and actress winners came to stage with glamour to accompany Ang Lee and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Chairman of Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee) to present the final award; the best feature film.

(Images and information in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).


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