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Hong Kong films win 9 accolades at Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards amid Beijing boycotts


Four Hong Kong films won a total of nine accolades at the 59th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on Saturday night.

Dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, this was the fourth year the Taiwan event was boycotted by Beijing. Seven Hong Kong films were nominated for awards, but a number of the city’s filmmakers and actors in the running were absent from the event, including best director nominee Cheang Pou-soi.

Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong won the best actor at the Golden Horse Award. Photo: Golden Horse Award.

Cheang’s crime thriller Limbo – which was nominated for 14 awards – won in the best cinematography, adapted screenplay, visual effects and art direction categories. It won the biggest number of awards on the night.

Winners of the Best Visual Effects award, Ho Man-lok and Diu King-wai, were present at the ceremony, while the awardees of Best Cinematography Cheng Siu-keung, Best Art Direction Renee Wong and Best Adapted Screenplay Shum Kwan-sin did not attend the awards.

Among those who starred in Limbo, only Mason Lee, Taiwanese-American actor and son of Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, was present.

Hong Kong film Limbo. Photo: Supplied.

In a September letter, the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association urged its members to “think twice” about joining the “politicised” Golden Horse event.

Most mainstream mainland Chinese and Hong Kong movie stars have shunned the event after a Taiwanese director voiced support for the island’s independence at the awards in 2018.

Four Hong Kong films won

Three other Hong Kong titles picked up prizes at Saturday’s Golden Horse awards, including The Sunny Side of the Street with three wins, and A Light Never Goes Out and The Narrow Road, which won one award each.

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Hong Kong films that won at the 59th Golden Horse Awards – click to view

Limbo (4 awards) :

Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effect, Best Adapted Screenplay

The Sunny Side of the Street (3 awards):

Best Actor, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay

A Light Never Goes Out (1 award):

Best Actress

The Narrow Road (1 award):

Best Original Film Score

Hong Kong veteran actor Anthony Wong, who was reportedly blacklisted by Beijing for supporting Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution in 2014, won Best Actor for The Sunny Side of the Street – the story of a Hong Kong taxi driver who helped a Pakistani refugee.

Hong Kong actress Sylvia Chang was awarded Best Actress for playing a neon artist’s wife in A Light Never Goes Out, making Hong Kong films the biggest winner in the acting category. Both Wong and Chang attended the ceremony.

Sylvia Chang giving her acceptance speech on November 19, 2022. Photo: Golden Horse Award.

Lam Sum’s The Narrow Road won in the Best Original Film Score category. The movie was Sum’s second feature after May You Stay Forever Young, which was about a teenage rescue team searching for a protester who expressed suicidal thoughts online during the 2019 protests and which failed to get approval from the film censorship authorities to be screened in Hong Kong.

Taiwanese documentary And Miles to Go Before I Sleep directed Tsai Tsung-lung triumphed over Hong Kong’s The Blue Island in the Best Documentary category. The category was last year won by Hong Kong film Revolution of Our Times from director Kiwi Chow.

A still shot from Blue Island. Photo: Supplied.

The best short documentary Will You Look At Me – about director Huang Shu-li’s journey to come out to his mother – was the only work from mainland China that won an award on Saturday.

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Chinese director Huang Shu-li. Photo: Golden Horse Award.

Huang, one of few mainland Chinese filmmakers in attendance, addressed the issue of fear in his acceptance speech: “I believe love can conquer fear. I hope everyone can persist in filming, and face the world and yourself honestly.”

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