China's Beijing Blues has won the best film award and Hong Kong's Johnnie To took home the best director's award at Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival, an event considered the Chinese-language Oscars.
Beijing Blues portrays the lives of the urban dwellers through the work of a squad of plainclothes crime-hunters.
In receiving the award, director Gao Qun Shu was visibly shocked, and he thanked "the globe" for giving an inexperienced director like him such honour and recognition.
Hong Kong's To won best director for Life Without Principle, which is about ordinary citizens in Hong Kong who are caught in the fallout of the global financial meltdown.
The film also won veteran Hong Kong actor Lau Ching Wan the best actor award for his portrayal of a triad thug seeking to recover money lost in a loan shark scheme.
Lau said he was happy to receive the award "even though you don't act in order to win an award."
Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei won the best actress award for portraying a woman involved in a romantic triangle in GF-BF (short for "Girlfriend-Boyfriend"). She burst into tears on receiving the award after beating out prominent contenders including Hao Lei and Bai Bai He, both of China.
Controversial Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye did not receive the widely expected director’s award for his box-office hit Mystery. Lou’s name was mentioned at the ceremony, though, in recognition of his finally directing a movie that was screened in Chinese theatres.
Mystery — about a woman's radical revenge after uncovering her husband's infidelity — is seen as marking Lou's entry into the commercial mainstream after years on the social and artistic edge.
Lou's films have long focused on sensitive subjects like sex, violence and politics, and have repeatedly been censored by China's cultural authorities.