Two films swept Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards gala, one of the top celebrations of the Chinese-language film industry.

Hong Kong's Ann Hui won the best director award at Saturday's ceremony for her movie A Simple Life. The jovial veteran director says she was surprised that the award did not go to one of the promising younger directors also nominated at the event. 

A Simple Life also won Andy Lau the best actor award and Deanie Ip the best actress honour.

Ip plays a domestic helper who copes with her own aging while serving her master (played by Lau). The veteran actress and singer previously won best actress at the 2011 Venice Film Festival for her turn in the film.

Lau said the awards would encourage Hong Kong's lagging film industry to keep producing good movies.

The host of awards also went to Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng's Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, an epic film about an aboriginal tribe's uprising against Japanese colonial rulers.

Along with the top prize — best feature film — it also won prizes for supporting actor, original film score, sound effects and the audience choice award. Wei was named outstanding Taiwanese filmmaker of the year.