Zhang Yimou’s film ‘Shadow’ shines at Chinese ‘Oscars’

China’s director Zhang Yimou poses backstage after winning
Best Director for his movie “Shadow” at the 55th Golden
Horse Awards in Taipei, Taiwan Saturday. Tyrone Siu,
Reuters

TAIPEI — Acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s martial arts
epic “Shadow” took the most gongs at Taiwan’s Golden Horse film
awards on Saturday, dubbed the Chinese-language “Oscars.”

Zhang, the maker of classics such as “Red Sorghum” and “Raise
the Red Lantern,” won best director for the film inspired by
traditional ink-brush painting which also bagged three
technical awards.

“I’ve made movies for 40 years and this is my first Golden
Horse (best) director nomination. I want to thank the jury for
giving me the award,” Zhang said at the ceremony at Taipei’s
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

“Shadow” led the race with 12 nominations, including best film,
but lost the coveted prize to “An Elephant Sitting Still”
directed by Hu Bo, who died last year aged 29 in Beijing.

Hu also won best adapted screenplay for his first and last film
— a nearly 4-hour-long story about four struggling small
characters based on his novel.

“I want to thank the jury and the audience again,” his mother
told the crowd after she accepted the best film statuette for
him.

China’s 29-year-old filmmaker Bi Gan lost best director to
Zhang for his 3D drama “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which
collected best cinematography, best sound effects and best
original film score.

Taiwanese filmmaker Fu Yue’s “Our Youth in Taiwan” about the
island’s 2014 Sunflower Movement saw off “Umbrella Diaries: The
First Umbrella” on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement
to win best documentary.

Both mass protests were led by young activists and reflected
increasing resistance to Beijing’s influence.

“I hope one day our country will be recognized and treated as a
truly independent entity. This is my biggest wish as a
Taiwanese,” Fu told the crowd.

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory
awaiting reunification, even though the 2 sides split in 1949
after a civil war.

Taiwan’s theater veteran Hsieh Ying-xuan beat better-known
Chinese rivals to claim best actress with her first movie “Dear
EX.”

In the film, she played a woman dumped by her husband who came
out of the closet and fought for his inheritance against his
gay lover.

China’s Xu Zheng won best actor for his role as a smuggler of
leukaemia drugs who ends up helping the sick in the box-office
hit “Dying to Survive.”

That movie also won best new director for 33-year-old filmmaker
Wen Muye.

“I want to thank every member of the production… it’s
difficult to create hair on my head and I have 2 hairdos in the
movie,” joked Xu, who is bald.

More than 40 films out of a record 667 submitted were nominated
for the 55th edition of the Golden Horse Film Awards, which
this year were decided by a jury chaired by Chinese superstar
Gong Li.

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