TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taiwanese animated film "On Happiness Road" (幸福路上) yesterday (March 13) won the Grand Prize in the feature film category at the 2018 Tokyo Anime Award Festival.
Competing in the annual festival were 731 works from 58 countries and upon receiving the award, Sung Hsin-yin (宋欣穎), the director of "On Happiness Road," according to Apple Daily excitedly said, "True thanks to all the people involved in all the films. It is really difficult to make an animated film, but we were recognized! When I returned to Taiwan in 2010, I decided that I would definitely turn this story into an animated film. Today it seems I made the right choice!" She added that she is looking forward to "Happiness Road" being released in more countries, "so the world can see Taiwan."
Among the competitors vying for the feature animation category against "On Happiness Road," were Chinese animated comedy "Have a Nice Day" (大世界), "The Oddsockeaters" from the Czech Republic, and "Kikoriki: Deja Vu" from Russia. Sung was presented the award by "Storks" director Doug Sweetland, who said that the film had displayed all the greatest possibilities of animation, was full of imagination, spanned many eras, and made people think about the meaning of life, reported China Times.
The film tells the story of Lin Hsu Chi, a Taiwanese woman born in the mid 70’s who is now married and living in America. Due to the passing of her grandmother, who is of indigenous Amis descent, she rushes back to her childhood neighborhood in Xinzhuang, a suburb of Taipei, at her old family’s house located on the titular Happiness Road, to help with the funeral.
Once there, while rediscovering her surroundings and the life that she left behind years ago, she gradually reminisces (in a series of flashbacks back and forth between past and present) all the things that led her life to what it is now, from her innocent and whimsical childhood, through her quickly maturing teenage rebellious years and leading to her hard-working young adulthood, before getting married and leaving for her American dream, for the pursuit of happiness. But did she get it? And what is happiness exactly? Those are the important questions the main character is constantly asking herself all throughout the movie.
"On Happiness Road" premiered in Japan yesterday, and many viewers were moved to tears.
Director Sung Hsin-yin (宋欣穎) holding awards. (CNA image)