Lin's film is about a father and son who embark on a 51-day-long walking trip around the coast of Taiwan, reminiscent of Satoshi Miki's festival hit Adrift in Tokyo. Pan's film, to be produced by China Film Group, parallels high-concept Thai thriller 13 Beloved in which an anonymous phone call spirals its recipient into a secretive and dangerous game.
In dollar terms, the real winner was runner-up Li Dawei who didn't have to share his $9,000 prize money. His Mongolian-set Homeland is about a stubborn woman married off against her will who reclaims her life from the desert. A second runner up prize of $6,000 was shared by Boris Boo's Singapore-set Blog Stories and Chiang Feng-hung's Fated to Miss You.
In total 21 feature films and three television drama series competed for the prize money, with projects originating from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Finland. Prizes were selected by a jury whose members were not revealed to participants as part of a broader practice of jury secrecy introduced by Golden Horse chairwoman Peggy Chiao last year.
A third of the line-up was from first-time directors, including cinematographer Zhang Li (The Banquet, Red Cliff), actor Shao Bing (Crash Landing, Red Snow) and local producer Cho Li (Fishing Luck, The Wall-Passer). Cho's Zoom Hunting was awarded in-kind production support prizes from Kodak, Taipei Motion Picture Corporation and Arrow Cinematic Group.
Among the highest profile projects of international interest was the long-planned sequel to Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman, with the original film ' s producer Hsu Li-kong attached as director. Hsu was nominally listed as co-director on Yin Chi's Fleeing By Night ten years ago, but the $3.75m sequel would mark his de facto directorial debut.
The low-key event cancelled pitching sessions at the opening ceremony when several directors got cold feet. Instead, the opening was marked by a Mongolian singer and a performance group.