The festival, which has recruited several former staff of the Golden Horse Film Awards, upped the glamour of its own Taipei Film Award, which was televised for the first time with performances from singers Shino Lin and Fish Leong. Its nine-member jury included actress Rene Liu, director Martin Duffy and programmer Giovanna Fulvi.
The awards were shared out equally between four of the ten competing local features: Wei Te-sheng's opening night gala Cape No. 7, Tom Lin's Winds Of September, Yang Ya-che's ORZ Boys and Doze Niu's What On Earth Have I Done Wrong'! Cape No. 7, which took the $33,000 Grand Prize, was a buzz title at the festival and opens through Buena Vista on a wide release next month.
The 17-day event screened 116 feature films and over 200 documentaries and shorts. However, ticket sales fell for the second year in a row to $210,000, a third less than receipts under the festival's previous organisers. The festival was marred by projection mishaps from the start when the opening gala screened with intermittent silences.
With Taiwan filmmakers preferring to launch their films at the Hong Kong and Pusan film festivals, just three Taiwan features premiered at the festival: Wei's Cape No. 7; Lee Chi-yuan's Beautiful Crazy in competition, and Birdy Wang's closing night gala Tea Fight.
The Annual City Vision section focused on the cinematic legacy of Jerusalem and Dublin, alongside tributes to several filmmakers who recently passed away: Heath Ledger, Kon Ichikawa, Edward Yang and Pai Ching-jui. Guests attending the festival included France's Olivier Assayas, Japan's Masahiro Kobayashi and Israel's Gila Almagor.
Mid-festival, the annual New Talent Competition for first or second time directors gave its two main prizes to feature films by female directors: Anais Barbeau-Lavalette's The Fight from Canada and Delphine Kreuter's 57000km Between Us from France. Cape No. 7, which also competed in this section, took the Audience Choice Award.
TAIPEI FILM AWARD IN FULL:
Grand Prize: Cape No. 7 (dir. Wei Te-sheng)
Jury Special Award: Winds of September (dir. Tom Lin)
Best Director: Yang Ya-che (ORZ Boys)
Special Mention: Mei Fang (actress, ORZ Boys & Summer of Magic)
Best Actor: Doze Niu (What on Earth Have I Done Wrong'!)
Best Actress: Janine Chang Chun-ning (What on Earth Have I Done Wrong'!)
Best New Talent: Wang Bo-chieh (Winds of September)
Best Screenplay: Henry Tsai & Tom Lin (Winds of September)
Best Cinematography: Chin Ting-chang (Cape No. 7)
Best Music: Lu Sheng-fei & Luo Chi-i (Cape No. 7)
Best Art Direction: Wang Kuei-pang (ORZ Boys)
Best Documentary: They are Flying (dir. Huang Chia-jun)
Documentary (Jury Special Award): El Salvador Journal (dir. Ho Chao-ti)
Best Short Film: The End of the Tunnel (dir. Chang Rong-ji)
Narrative Short (Jury Special Award): Superpower Girl (dir. DJ Chen)
Best Animation Short: Fly Out Blue (dir. Jack Shih)
Animation Short (Special Mention): Fuji Shogun (dir. Christy Chang)
Media Choice Award: Winds of September (dir. Tom Lin)
Audience Choice Award: What on Earth Have I Done Wrong'! (dir. Doze Niu)
NEW TALENT COMPETITION IN FULL:
Grand Prize: The Fight (dir. Anais Barbeau-Lavalette)
Special Jury Prize: 57000km Between Us (dir. Delphine Kreuter)
Audience Choice Award: Cape No. 7 (dir. Wei Te-sheng)
Special Mention: What on Earth Have I Done Wrong'! (dir. Doze Niu)
Special Mention: Wonderful Town (dir. Aditya Assarat)