Hong Kong filmmaker named best new director at Golden Horse Awards

Wong Chun’s debut feature also earns Elaine Jin a best actress award, while co-stars of another Hong Kong movie, Soul Mate, share best actress prize. Feng Xiaogang thanks Fan Bingbing as he wins best director

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 1:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 3:19pm

Hong Kong director Wong Chun came away from the 2016 Golden Horse Awards with the best new director prize for his debut feature, family drama Mad World.

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The film, shot on a shoestring budget of some US$250,000, also earned Taiwanese actress Elaine Jin her second best supporting actress statuette.

The two lead actresses in another Hong Kong film, the Derek Tsang-directed romantic drama Soul Mate, shared the best actress award at the weekend ceremony in Taipei. Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun play two best friends whose relationship is tested when they fall in love with the same man.

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“Together we make a fantastic duo,” said Ma. “I would not be me without her, and she would not be her without me.”

Hong Kong actors Tong Leung Ka-fai and Jacky Cheung Hok-yau were among the established stars who lost out to surprise winner Fan Wei (Mr No Problem) in the best actor category.

Veteran Chinese director Feng Xiaogang picked up the best director award for his social satire I Am Not Madame Bovary at the 53rd edition of the awards, considered the equivalent of the Oscars for Mandarin-language cinema.

Feng’s I Am Not Madame Bovary stars Fan Bingbing as a woman who spends a decade fighting China’s bureaucracy to have her divorce nullified after being swindled by her ex-husband.

“I want to thank Bingbing. She is a star and acts in this art film without taking any payment,” Feng said after he received the award from French actress Juliette Binoche.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press

The film scooped the best picture prize at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival in September, with Fan winning the best actress prize.

The award for best feature went to another Chinese director, Zhang Dalei, for his black-and-white The Summer Is Gone, about a boy’s summer vacation in Inner Mongolia in the early 1990s set to the backdrop of shrinking jobs at state-owned companies during a time of economic reform. The film’s 10-year-old actor Kong Weiyi took home the best new performer award.

Fan Wei won best actor for his performance in Mr No Problem as the manager of a money-losing farm in Chongqing in the 1940s. Fan said he was grateful the jury had “perceived the subtleness I brought to the character”.

Best supporting actor went to Taiwanese singer-actor Lin Po-hung for his role in At Cafe 6.