A Simple Life takes home three major prizes.

Wei Te-sheng’s war epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale won the top prizes at the 48th Golden Horse Awards, taking home five Golden Horse statuettes: Best Feature Film, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Effect, Best Original Film Score and the Audience Choice Awards at the awarding ceremony on Saturday in Taiwan’s Hsinchu City.

The Hsin-chu City Concert Hall was star-studded on Saturday night with well-known filmmakers in Asia including filmmaker and Golden Horse chairman Hou Hsiao-hsien, Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong, Japanese actress Aoi Miazaki, mainland Chinese actress Tang Wei, filmmaker Chen Kuo-fu, Fruit Chan and Silvia Chang, as well all nominated actors and filmmakers gracing the red carpet.

Overall the 22 awards were evenly divided by Taiwanese, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese filmmakers.  Although only three purely Hong Kong films are in the nominated list, drama A Simple Life earned honours for Hong Kong by taking home three major awards, Best Director for Ann Hui, Best Actor for Andy Lau and Best Actress for Deanie Ip, who in September won the same title at Venice.

Upon receiving the Best Actor award, Andy Lau said, “In the past few years I’ve seen Taiwanese filmmakers struggling during the lowest time of the film industry, and I’ve seen how you revive. Now it’s the lowest time for Hong Kong films. I hope we can also hang in there through the hard time, and be as good as Taiwan’s achievement.”

Peter Chan’s martial arts drama Wu Xia is also awarded with three awards in Best Choreography, Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction.

Nominated in nine award categories Jiang Wen’s Western-styled action film Let the Bullets Fly only took home Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay. Also feeling the disappointment are the filmmakers of The Piano in the Factory and Jump Ashin.  Nominated in seven categories, Piano only took the FIPRESCI Award, while Ashin only won Best home Best Original Film Song title.

Fox International Productions’ mainland China production The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman won two awards: Best New Director for Wuershan and Best Costume and Make-up Design for Hao Yi.

The biggest dark horse winner on Saturday night was Return Ticket. The Shanghai-set drama about the tale of migrant cleaning ladies struggling to return home during the busy Chinese New Year holidays has not secured a release deal in cinemas. It won Best Supporting Actress for Tang Qun and Best Original Screenplay for five scriptwriters: Yang Nan-Chian, Teng Yung Shing, Qin Hai Lu, Ge Wen-Zhe, and Xi Ran.

The Golden Horse Awards have been generally seen as the highest honor for Chinese-language films.  Established in 1964, the awards annually give out 20-24 award categories including many technical awards.

Five Hong Kong-Mainland China co-produced films won 10 award categories out of the 22 award categories this year. Six Taiwanese films won nine award categories while one Hong Kong film took home three award categories.

As for the festival’s two international awards, the FIPRESCI Award went to Zhang Meng’s The Piano in the Factory while the NETPAC award went to Malaysian filmmaker Dain Said’s Bunohan.

Best Feature Film
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Best Director
Ann Hui — A Simple Life

Best New Director
Wuershan – The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman

Best Leading Actor
Andy Lau – A Simple Life

Best Leading Actress
Deanie Ip – A Simple Life

Best Supporting Actor
Boken Kosang — Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Best Supporting Actress
Tang Qun – Return Ticket

Best New Performer
Chen-tung Ko – You are the Apple of My Eye

Best Original Screenplay
Yang Nan-Chian, Teng Yung Shing, Qin Hai Lu, Ge Wen-Zhe, Xi Ran — Return Ticket

Best Adapted Screenplay
Zhu Sujin, Shu Ping, Jiang Wen, Guo Junli, Wei Xiao, Li Bukong – Let the Bullets Fly

Best Cinematography
Zhao Fei — Let the Bullets Fly

Best Visual Effects
Yung Kwok Yin, Andy Kang – Wu Xia

Best Art Direction
Yee Chung-man – Wu Xia

Best Makeup & Costume Design
Hao Yi — The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman

Best Action Choreography
Donnie Yen — Wu Xia

Best Original Film Score
Ricky Ho — Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Best Original Film Song
Jump! Ashin

Best Film Editing
Hsiao-Tung Chen — The Man Behind the Book

Best Sound Effects
Tu Duu-Chih — Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Best Short Film
Thief — Jay Chen

Best Documentary
Hometown Boy — 3H Productions

The Piano in a Factory by Zhang Meng (Mainland China)

Bunohan by Dain Said (Malaysia)