Chang Tso-chi’s Thanatos, Drunk swept the Taipei Film Awards on Saturday night, winning six prizes including the Grand Prize and best narrative feature.
A drama about a Taipei slacker, his gay brother and their sexually ambiguous gigolo friend, Chang’s film also took best actor for Lee Hong-chi’s performance, best supporting actor for Chen Jen-shuo, best supporting actress for Lu Hsueh-feng and the press award.
The jury, headed by Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan, said: “Within its realistic story the film conceals a depiction of an unhampered inner spirit. With bold cinematic language, the filmmaker creates characters that are trying to survive in their dreamlike intimate, unbound and sorrowful emotional state.”
The Taipei Film Awards are divided into four categories – feature, documentary, short and animation – and the Grand Prize winner is deemed to be the best film overall. Chang’s win marks the first time in six years that a feature film has won the Grand Prize.
Meanwhile, best actress across all categories went to Japan’s Hiromi Nagasaku for Japan-Taiwan co-production The Furthest End Awaits, which also won the Audience Choice Award in the International New Talent Competition earlier in the festival.
Best director at the Taipei Film Awards went to Tsai Ming-liang for No No Sleep, while best screenplay went to Doze Niu Chen-zer and Tseng Li-ting for Paradise In Service, which also took the award for outstanding artistic contribution in art design (Huang Mei-ching).
A Life That Sings won best documentary along with awards for cinematography (Chen Hyin-gen, Chang Hao-jan) and editing (Xu Wei-yao). The Death Of A Security Guard took best short film and The Vending Machine took best animation. Wilson Hsu took best new talent for short film Spring Awakening.
The Special Jury Award went to Dawang Huang for TPE-Tics, while Wawa No Cidal took the Audience Choice Award.
Earlier in the Taipei Film Festival, Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s second feature The Kindergarten Teacher won the Grand Prize in the International New Talent Competition. The Special Jury Prize went to In Her Place from Korean-Canadian filmmaker Albert Shin.