Taiwan's Wang Yen-ni won the best director award Sunday in the international competition at the 12th International Student Film Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Wang, a student in National Taiwan University of Arts' Department of Motion Picture, won the award for her short film "The Secret in the Wind."
She beat out students from 86 film schools in more than 50 countries around the world to win the award at the festival hosted by Tel Aviv University.
The Tel Aviv festival, held every two years since 1986, is one of the largest and most important festivals in the world for student films.
Wang was the only Asian film student to win a major award in the international competition at this year's festival.
A total of 140 films in various genres were selected for the competition, with awards presented in the categories of best documentary, best fiction, best animation/experimental, best script, best cinematography, best direction, and special jury commendation.
One of the judges in the competition praised Wang for her masterful portrayal of family relations, particularly the interactions between mother and daughter, saying that her ability to blend Eastern and Western cultures and values in the film drew the attention of film critics and judges at the festival.
At Sunday's presentation ceremony, Wang seemed stunned and was speechless when her name was announced. In her acceptance speech, Wang thanked her film teachers as well as her family and friends for their support, adding proudly, "I come from Taiwan."
Wang also thanked the organizers for holding such a wonderful festival, saying that she spent most of her time during the festival in theaters enjoying the many great short films from around the world that were being screened.
Wang's own "The Secret in the Wind" won the praise of ordinary moviegoers at the festival, with many mentioning in interviews with reporters that the film showed them that Taiwan is a beautiful place with warm and friendly people.