‘Blind Massage’ sweeps Chinese ‘Oscars’

Chinese director and actor Chen Jianbin holds his trophy after winning Best Leading Actor next to Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang-chyi who won Best Leading Actress at the 51th Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei.

Chinese director and actor Chen Jianbin holds his trophy after winning Best Leading Actor next to Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang-chyi who won Best Leading Actress at the 51th Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei.

TAIPEI: Chinese director Lou Ye’s drama starring blind amateur actors as massage therapists scooped top honors at the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taiwan on Saturday, touted as the Chinese-language “Oscars.”

“Blind Massage,” a portrayal of the romance and dreams of visually impaired massage therapists, was the biggest winner, with six gongs out of seven nominations.

It scooped awards including the coveted best feature film, best adapted screenplay and best new performer for Zhang Lei, herself a visually impaired masseuse.

“It took a long time to shoot the film. I want to thank everyone for their contributions and I want to thank the blind actors who are not here,” Lou said after receiving the best film award at a glitzy ceremony in Taipei’s Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Lou was previously best known for his politically charged love story “Summer Palace,” which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival without government approval in 2006 and led to him receiving a five-year ban on film-making in China.

Veteran Chinese actor Chen Jianbin walked away with most personal awards, setting a record at the Golden Horse awards for winning both best leading actor and best new director for playing a farmer in his directorial debut “A Fool.”

He also bagged best supporting actor for his role as a homesick soldier in Taiwanese director Doze Niu’s military drama “Paradise in Service.”

 
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