Debut director Anthony Chen was presented with the prize by two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, who chaired the jury for the 50th edition of the film honors, considered the most prestigious in Chinese-language cinema.
Unlike the Oscars or France's Cesars, the Golden Horse winners are decided by jury. This year's jury was chaired by two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, who presented the best picture trophy to Chen and his team, saying the jurors spent two hours deliberating the winner and conducted four rounds of voting to reach their decision.
Singaporean director Anthony Chen's IloIlo was the surprise Best Picture winner at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards Saturday night in Taipei. The 29-year-old director's debut feature beat out titles from some of the most established names in Chinese-language cinema, including Johnnie To's Drug War, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster, A Touch of Sin from JiaZhangke and Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs.
"Singapore is a very little country and we made this film with a small budget, so we never dreamed of winning a best picture prize," said Chen in his acceptance speech."The other nominees are the masters I learned from when I was in film school, so I'm very honored and thankful to them too," he added.
Set in Singapore, IloIlo chronicles the relationship between the Lim family and their newly arrived maid, Teresa. Like many other Filipino women, she has come to this city in search of a better life. Her presence in the family worsens their already strained relationship. Jiale, the young and troublesome son, starts to form a unique bond with Teresa, who soon becomes an unspoken part of the family. This is 1997 and the Asian Financial Crisis is beginning to be felt in the region...