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'Mountains May Depart' wins Golden Horse audience award

'Mountains May Depart' wins Golden Horse audience award

Chinese family saga "Mountains May Depart" was named the audience's favorite film Friday on the eve of the 52nd Golden Horse Awards, one of the most prestigious awards for Chinese-language films.

"Mountains May Depart," by director Jia Zhangke, snatched the non-competition Golden Horse Audience Award for Best Picture at a ceremony in Taipei. The film has received seven nominations for the actual Golden Horse Awards ceremony, which will be held Saturday in Taipei, with 39 films competing for top honors in 22 categories.

"Mountains May Depart" examines the life of a woman called Tao Er and those around her as China undergoes rapid changes. The film shows three different time periods of Tao Er's life: 1999, when she is being courted by two suitors in her hometown in China; 2014, when she is divorced and her son and ex-husband move to Australia; and 2025, when her teenage son hardly remembers her.

The film competed for the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

"This is a pleasant surprise for me," said Jia, who attended the Friday ceremony. He thanked the Taiwanese audience and said he was moved and will remember their support.

The 44-year-old acclaimed director started his career as an independent filmmaker, often chronicling China's poor and displaced and depicting the grim social reality brought about by rapid economic development and globalization. The U.S.-based National Public Radio has touted him as perhaps "the most important filmmaker working in the world today." The New York Times has also praised Jia as "one of the few filmmakers of any nationality who weighs the impact of social and political shifts on people."

Other prizes were also given out Friday.

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival's FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Prize was given to Chinese director Bi Gan's debut film "Kaili Blues."

The FIPRESCI Prize aims to encourage outstanding Chinese-language filmmaking and new and young filmmakers. The Federation is an international non-governmental organization consisting of professional film critics and journalists. It has members in 60 countries.

Another accolade, the Piaget Award, which encourages original screenplays, went to Guan Hu and Dong Runnian for the Chinese action comedy "Mr. Six." (By Christie Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-22 02:24 GMT+08:00