The Grandmaster wins six awards in Taipei.

Scroll down for full list of winners

Celebrating the 50th Taipei Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-speaking film industry was out in full force Saturday night (Nov 23) at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.

Anthony Chen’s debut film Ilo Ilo took Best Feature with a cash prize of $16,900 (NT$500,000).

“Singapore is a very little country and we did this on a very little budget and never had we thought of winning Best Feature Film,” said Chen, who thanked jury president Ang Lee and the other nominees in the category, whose works he said he had all studied in film school.

About a Singaporean family and their newly arrived Filipino maid around the time of the Asian Financial Crisis, Ilo Ilo also won Best Original Screenplay, Best New Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Yeo Yann-Yann.

Yeo, who played a beleaguered working mother, thanked the director who is said to have altered the story to reflect her actual pregnancy and added, “Thanks also to my daughter who was with me all the time during the shooting - and now she is born.”

Chen’s project was previously in the Golden Horse Film Project Promotion (FPP) and he was a participant in the Golden Horse Film Academy as well. Ilo Ilo premiered in Cannes this year where it won the Camera d’Or. The film is Singapore’s submission to the Oscar’s foreign language film category.

The Grandmaster rules

Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts film The Grandmaster - Hong Kong’s submission to the Oscars - picked up the most awards – six, including the Audience Choice Award presented the night before at the Nominees Party, with Best Leading Actress for Zhang Ziyi.

Frenchmen Philippe Le Sourd and Pierre Buffin picked up awards for Cinematography and Visual Effects respectively. William Chang Suk Ping won in the Best Makeup & Costume Design category and also picked up the Best Art Direction award with colleague Alfred Yau Wai Ming for the period film.

Stray no more

Tsai Ming Liang won his second Best Director Award with Stray Dogs. (His first was for Vive l’Amour in 1994.)

“I have some complex history with Golden Horse Awards. I know how fast this horse runs, but my films are slow. But now, I see Golden Horse has slowed down for me. It would only happen in Taiwan that a Malaysian director would win this award. Thank you for giving me this award, it will keep me moving on,” he said.

Tsai previously withdrew his film I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone as the 2006 Golden Horse Opening Film when he felt he hadn’t gotten enough respect from the jury. Stray Dogs was this year’s Opening Film.

Lee Kang-sheng, who won Best Actor for his performance in Stray Dogs, held up his trophy for a full minute onstage without saying a word.

“This is the style of Tsai Ming Liang – stand still,” he said, making the audience laugh.

Local successes

Best Documentary went to local hit Beyond Beauty, Taiwan From Above. With a current box office of $2.09m (NT$62m), it is the highest grossing documentary in Taiwan.

Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year went to Yeh Ju-Feng, a producer with 18 years on the job whose recent films include Taipei Factory, Zone Pro Site and Taiwan’s 2014 Oscar best foreign language film submission Soul.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to 1960s superstar Chen Chen who said she would like to “share this award with all those who work behind the scenes” and thanked “the directors I worked with who will remain my mentors for all my life.” The festival screened her 1971 Taiwanese film The Story Of Ti-Ying, directed by Li Han-hsiang.

A galaxy of Chinese stars were at the five-hour televised ceremony including Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Joan Chen, Tony Leung, Jackie Chan, Ivy Ling Po, Shu Qi, Brigitte Lin, Aaron Kwok, Li Bing Bing, Jimmy Wang Yu, and Gwei Lun-Mei.

Full winners list

Best Feature Film
Ilo Ilo (Singapore Film Commission, Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

Best Leading Actor
Lee Kang-sheng (Stray Dogs)

Best Leading Actress
Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster)

Best Director
Tsai Ming Liang (Stray Dogs)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Chen Chen

Best Original Screenplay
Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Li Qiang (So Young)

Best New Director
Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo)

Audience Choice Award
The Grandmaster (Wong Kar Wai)

Rigor Mortis (Kudos Films Limited)

Best Original Film Song
I Love You (from Rock Me To The Moon)
- Lyrics: Spark Chen/ Composer: Spark Chen/ Performer: Sleepy Dads

Best Original Film Score
Lim Giong (A Touch Of Sin)

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan, He Jun, JC Stunt Team (CZ12)

Best Visual Effects
Pierre Buffin (The Grandmaster)

Best Cinematography
Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster)

Best Art Direction
William Chang Suk Ping, Alfred Yau Wai Ming (The Grandmaster)

Best Makeup & Costume Design
William Chang Suk Ping (The Grandmaster)

Best Supporting Actress
Yeo Yann-Yann (Ilo, Ilo)

Best Supporting Actor
Xuejian Li (Back To 1942)

Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year
Yeh Ju-Feng

Best Documentary
Beyond Beauty, Taiwan From Above (Taiwan Aerial Imaging, Inc.)

Best Film Editing
Matthieu Laclau, Lin Xudong (A Touch Of Sin)

Best Sound Effects
Tu Duu-Chih, Kuo Li Chi (Soul)

Best New Performer
Shu-yau Kuo (Step Back To Glory)

Best Short Film
Butter Lamp (AMA Productions)