Chinese-French 'Blind Massage,' actor Chen Jianbin win big at Taiwan's Golden Horse awards

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    TAIPEI, Taiwan — A Chinese-French film about blind masseurs and Chinese actor and director Chen Jianbin scooped the most accolades at Taiwan's 51st Golden Horse movie awards, considered the Chinese-language equivalent of the Oscars.

    "Blind Massage" from Chinese director Lou Ye won six of the seven categories it had been nominated in, including best feature film, best cinematography and best sound effects. The film, adapted from a novel, centers on the lives of workers in a massage parlor in China's Nanjing city.

    The other big winner on Saturday evening was Chen, 44, who won best lead actor and best new director for "A Fool" — a film about a Chinese farmer who meets a homeless man and takes him home — as well as best supporting actor for his role in Taiwanese military drama "Paradise in Service."

    Also at the awards ceremony in Taipei, Ann Hui won her third Golden Horse best director award for "The Golden Era," which portrays the turbulent life of Chinese writer Xiao Hong.

    The film had been nominated in five categories. Hui said her win was a surprise and she would have preferred her actress, Tang Wei, to win in the best lead actress category.

    Instead, the award went to a lesser known actress, Chen Shiang-chyi, for "Exit."

    "I feel like I have made it, to be able to win this award for Taiwan. I love Taiwan films and I dedicated this for Taiwan," said Chen in her acceptance speech.

    Chinese director Diao Yinan's "Black Coal, Thin Ice," a detective thriller set in northern China that won the Berlin International Film Festival's main Golden Bear prize this year, won the award for best art direction. It had been nominated in eight categories.

    The Golden Horse film festival celebrates Chinese-language cinema, and the awards are the most prestigious in the greater China region.

    A total of 38 films were nominated for 21 awards this year. There was a total of 364 entries, 100 more than last year.

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