49th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

Taiwan, November 8 - November 28 2012

The jury

France Hatron (France), Ernest Chan Chi Wa (Hong Kong), Yen Hung-Ya (Taiwan)

Awarded films

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan, founded in 1962 by the Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan), is considered the biggest film festival for Chinese-language movies. This year it took place from November 8 to 29, with over 200 films screened. Most of the screenings and activities were held in Taipei, and for the first time, many screenings were brought to Yilan, a smaller town situated one hour from the capital.

As the most important annual film event in Taiwan, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival comprises both the festival and the Golden Horse Awards, which are designed to encourage the development of Chinese-language films. The festival aims to bring excellent films from world-renowned festivals to Taiwanese audiences, such as Michael Haneke’s Amour and Kim ki-duk’s Pieta, while the award tries to promote Chinese-language film production and to recognize prominent films and outstanding filmmakers of the year.

The festival had four sections: the films nominated for a Golden Horse (33 films), the Chinese-language cinema (13 films from Taiwan and China), the Panorama section including Asian, African, European, North and South American features (66 famous films), and the Filmmakers in Focus section, which included tributes to two deceased masters, Theodoros Angelopoulos and Chris Marker, as well as a program on Filipino director Brillante Mendoza. Of the latter, Hou Hsiao-hsien, the festival chairman and well-known Taiwanese director, said, “His works are sharply critical of society and have such a powerful impact on viewers.” The closing film was Holy Motors by Leos Carax, who stayed in Taipei for a week and appeared at audience discussions.

“While the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival focuses on Chinese-language films, it has been inclusive in its efforts and vision to tear down invisible walls and stereotypes”, said Lung Yingtai, Minister of Culture. In a selection of 11 first or second Chinese-language films, the FIPRESCI jury gave their award to Taiwanese director Jung-chi Chang’s Touch of the Light, a co-production from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. It’s worth noting that there are an increasing number of such co-productions.  (France Hatron)

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival: www.goldenhorse.org.tw