Romantic comedy, veteran actress win big at Chinese-language 'Oscars'
By Ben Blanchard
TAIPEI (Reuters) - A veteran actress and romantic comedy were in the spotlight at this year's Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-language world version of the Oscars, in Taiwan on Saturday. China was largely absent for a second year after a political dispute.
"My Missing Valentine," a Taiwanese film about a postal worker who wakes up to discover Valentine's Day, has passed without her knowledge and has won five awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
But it was veteran Taiwanese actress Chen Shu-fang, 81, who has been in the business for more than six decades and who has possibly received the warmest reception.
She won for two different films and got Best Supporting Actress for "Dear Tenant" and Best Actress for "Little Big Women", both complex family dramas.
Not only had she never won before, she had never been nominated for the award either.
"Even if I can no longer walk, I want the director to write a wheelchair role for me," said Chen.
Politics was not entirely absent, with Jill Li's "Lost Course" on Wukan, the Chinese "democratic village" rising up against corruption and receiving the award for best documentary, an award China is unlikely to get excited about for the event.
China's film regulator last year prevented the country's film industry from participating in Taiwan-hosted awards, which were founded in 1962 and are held every year.
This move came after the 2018 event caused a stir in China and among Chinese stars at the ceremony, when Taiwanese director Fu Yue made comments in support of Taiwan's formal independence.
China regards democratic Taiwan as its own territory and routinely denounces any movements Beijing sees as an indication that the island is separate from China or is not part of its territory.
This year's Golden Horse Awards were worn with masks in front of a full audience, demonstrating Taiwan's success in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Several high-profile stars, including Taiwan-born Oscar winner Ang Lee, first had to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantines after flying to Taiwan for the ceremony.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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