The movie won six awards, beating films like Black Coal, Thin Ice and Kano.
China's Blind Massage was the surprise winner at the 51st Golden Horse Awards, the Taiwan-based competition open to all Chinese-language films held yesterday.
The Lou Ye-directed film won in six of the seven categories for which it was nominated, including the best feature prize. It beat another mainland Chinese title Black Coal, Thin Ice, which had been the favourite going in to the ceremony with eight nominations, ahead of seven for Blind Massage, and six for Taiwan's Kano. But Black Coal finished a miserable evening winning only for best art direction.
Broadcast of the ceremony was blocked in China because of the inclusion of Kano, a period film which casts a benign eye on the Japanese colonial period. Despite its multiple nominations the film came away with no prizes.
Awards were decided by a jury chaired by Joan Chen that also included Stanley Kwan, Aaron Kwok, Chen Po-Wen, Hwarng Wen-Ying and Stephen Fung.
Hong Kong-based Ann Hui was named as best director for her big-budget mainland Chinese biopic The Golden Era. Blind Massage won best picture, best new performer (Zhang Lei), best adapted screenplay, best cinematography, best sound effects and best editing.
Other highlights included a pair of wins for Taiwan's Paradise In Service, which claimed the best supporting actor (Chen Jian-bin) and best supporting actress (Wan Qian) awards; and A Fool, for which Chen Jian-bin won the best actor and best new director awards.
Black Coal was acquired for release in Taiwan last week, as one of the first beneficiaries of a new policy that allows mainland Chinese films that have won top prizes at major festivals to be exempted from Taiwan's import quota. It is expected to be released in early 2015. — Reuters
51st Golden Horse Awards winners
2014 Best Feature Film: Blind Massage
Best Director: Ann Hui, The Golden Era
Best Actor: Chen Jianbin in A Fool
Best Actress: Chen Hsiang-chi in Exit
Best Supporting Actor: Chen Jianbin in Paradise In Service
Best Supporting Actress: Regina Wan in Paradise In Service
Best New Director: Chen Jianbin for A Fool
Best New Performer: Zhang Lei in Blind Massage
Best Original Screenplay: Yee Chih-yen for Meeting Dr Sun
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ma Yingli for Blind Massage
Best Cinematography: Zeng Jian for Blind Massage
Best Visual Effects: The Midnight After
Best Art Direction: Liu Qiang for Black Coal, Thin Ice
Best Makeup & Costume Design: Liang Tingting for Brotherhood Of Blades
Best Action Choreography: Jack Wong for As The Light Goes Out
Best Original Film Score: Chen Qigang for Coming Home
Best Original Film Song: The Continent
Best Film Editing: Kong Jinlei, Jolin Zhu for Blind Massage
Best Sound Effects: Fu Kang for Blind Massage
Best Documentary: Cotton
Best Short Film: The Hammer And Sickle Are Sleeping