Taipei, July 10 (CNA) The documentary “A Holy Family” won the Grand Prize of One Million Taiwan Dollars (US$33,563), Best Documentary and Best Editing at the 2022 Taipei Film Awards on Saturday.
The 87-minute Taiwan-France production explores a rekindled intimate family bond and a story of self-discovery through a homecoming story of the director who returns to his village in Taiwan after a 24-year absence.
The film is extremely moving as it shows a heartfelt longing between family, earth and the gods, according to the jury.
The film, in which the director returns to his family in order to confront the real reason for his departure, was praised by the jury for its perfectly mastered balance of emotions.
“The balance between the emotion and the record is controlled and deep, like a stroke of genius”, declared the jury.
The film’s structure and layout are said to be “exquisite and ingenious”, while “the film as a whole is deeply touching and unforgettable”, according to the jury.
Documentary director Elvis Lu (盧盈良) said upon accepting the Grand Prize that the film is not his own production but the product of many blessings and help from many people.
“I grew up studying the works of many seniors who sit in front of me in front of the stage, and I especially want to thank my team,” Lu said.
Along with the Grand Prize, “A Holy Family” also won NT$1 million, as well as the Best Documentary and Best Editing awards.
Another big prize, Best Narrative Feature, was won by “American Girl,” a film that depicts a teenage girl who grew up in Los Angeles and her adjustment to life in Taiwan after returning here.
The jury praised the film for its steady and deep direction, rich and delicate performance, and high-level presentation of various technicalities that created a neat and high-quality overall result.
The film’s director, Fiona Feng-i Roan (阮鳳儀), who directed the feature in its debut, thanked everyone for giving the new directors a chance.
“Hopefully there will be a lot more new directors on this scene soon,” said Roan, born in 1990.
Roan emigrated to the United States with her mother and sister in 1997 and returned to Taiwan in 2003. She studied Chinese literature at National Taiwan University and earned a master’s degree in directing from the American Film Institute.
Caitlin Fang (方郁婷) won Best New Talent for her role in “American Girl,” playing 13-year-old Fen, who returns to Taiwan from Los Angeles after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
In addition to winning awards at the 2022 Taipei Film Awards, “American Girl” also won Best New Performer, Best New Director, Best Cinematography, Audience Choice Award and FIPRESCI Award at the 2021 Golden Horse Awards. .
Back at the Taipei Film Awards, this year’s Outstanding Contribution Award went to acclaimed director Kevin Chu (朱延平) for playing an irreplaceable role in the development of Taiwan’s film industry.
A household name in Taiwanese cinema, Chu made many popular films in the 1980s and 1990s, which helped introduce many promising new actors at the time, according to the Taipei Film Festival (TFF).
“While making these films, he never forgot to discover and nurture new actors and create new possibilities for commercial films,” TFF said in a statement.
In other awards, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Visual Effects went to Kai Ko (柯震東), Giddens Ko (九把刀), ArChin Yen (嚴振欽) and DCraft Studio (罡風創意映像有限公司), respectively, for their roles in the romantic fantasy comedy film “Till We Meet Again.”
Meanwhile, the Best Actress award went to Chen Shiang-chyi (陳湘琪) for the family drama Raise the Echo.
This year, the 2022 Taipei Film Awards received a total of 400 submissions, including 51 feature films, 75 documentaries, 209 short films and 65 animations, where a nominated list of 30 films were chosen for the competition.
The awards, founded in 1988 as the China Times Express Film Awards and renamed the Taipei Film Awards in 1994, recognize the best films in Taiwanese cinema, in addition to increasing the visibility and promotion of Taiwanese films.