Huang Hsiu-yi’s Diamond Marine World won both the Grand Prize and best documentary at this year’s Taipei Film Awards, while Lin Chun-yang’s Eye Of The Storm was the biggest winner, scooping five prizes, including best director.
The Taipei Film Awards are presented by Taiwan’s Taipei Film Festival, which this year ran June 22 to July 8, and also hosts the International New Talent Competition.
Diamond Marine World follows two Taiwanese people with ties to Myanmar – a shrimp farmer who wants to start a revolution in Myanmar, and is falsely accused of possessing guns and drugs; and a Sino-Burmese girl who wants to follow the path of her father in returning to Myanmar from Taiwan.
On collecting the awards, the film’s director, Huang Hsiu-yi, said: “The film was shot in Myanmar and it was extremely difficult. Thank the lands and the spirits in Myanmar for tolerating us.”
In addition to best director, pandemic thriller Eye Of The Storm won best actor for Wang Po-chieh’s performance, best art design, best visual effects and the Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for the special effects make-up team. The film’s director, Lin Chun-yang, previously won best director at Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards for HBO Asia series The World Between Us.
Best feature in the Taipei Film Awards went to Gaga, directed by indigenous female filmmaker Laha Mebow, which also picked up best editing and a best new talent award for Wilang Lalin’s performance. Yeh Hsiao-fei also took a best new talent award for Who’ll Stop The Rain.
Best actress went to Lu Hsiao-fen for her role in Fu Tien-yu’s Day Off, a film that marked her return to acting after a hiatus of 20 years. The film also won best supporting actor for Fu Meng-po. Best supporting actress went to Yang Li-ying for Coo-Coo 043, which also took the prize for best sound design.
Best screenplay was awarded to Wu Chin-jung and Cheng Wei-hao for comedy Marry My Dead Body, directed by Cheng Wei-hao.
In the technical categories, The Abandoned won best music and best make-up and costume design; and The Post-Truth World took best cinematography.
Winners outside the feature category included Liu Wan-ling’s The Egret River, which won best animation, while best short film went to Chiang Chung-chieh’s Big Day. The Audience Choice Award was presented to nature documentary Good Morni MIT, directed by Mai Chueh-ming, and the Press award went to Chang Yi-ching’s Be Myself, about a youth undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
In the International New Talent Competition, held on June 27, the Grand Prize was presented to Under The Fig Trees, directed by Tunisian filmmaker Erige Sehiri, while the Special Jury Prize went to Yemeni filmmaker Amr Gamal’s The Burdened. Gamal attended the ceremony in person to collect the award.
The jury for this competition was headed by Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang-chyi and also included Korean producer Oh Jung-wan, Hong Kong director Samson Chiu, Taiwanese director Lou Yi-an and Berlinale’s Head of Programming Mark Peranson.
Other awards presented at the ceremony included the Audience Award, which went to Taiwanese film A Place Called Silence, directed by Sam Quah, while the Taiwanese Film Critics Society Award went to Amiko, directed by Japan’s Morii Yusuke.