Vietnamese filmmaker Lê B?o won the grand prize at this year's International New Talent Competition for his directorial debut "Taste" at the Taipei Film Festival, the organizers said in a statement Tuesday.
Lê B?o's film stood out from the 11 other nominees because of its "condensed shots and unique aesthetic that formed an isolated, primitive and poetic space," the jury said in the statement.
"The immediate glimpse into the lives of five marginalized persons exiled from society inspires contemplation on the nature of and needs in life," the jury said about the film that begins with the story of a Nigerian immigrant in Vietnam, who lost his soccer player job and what then happened to him.
The jury called Lê B?o's film "an audacious piece from an emerging director" in the statement.
The Vietnamese director expressed his appreciation for the jury's decision, saying the prize means a lot to him, his crew, and the actors and invigorates his desire to tell more stories.
Meanwhile, "Celts" by Serbian Milica Tomovic, also her first feature film, won the special jury prize.
"With a children's party as the starting point, the desires and conflicts of the characters reflect the changing times and social dilemmas seen in Serbia," the jury said about Tomovic's film.
"Celts" also received the audience choice award at festival, the start of which was delayed from late June to late September because of COVID-19.
Moreover, the movie also won the Taiwan Film Critics Society Award, which was presented for the fourth year during the festival, on the grounds that Tomovic's "skillful mise-en-scène" shows how "adult desires and childish fun are intricately intertwined" in the movie, according to the statement.
The winner of the grand prize and special jury prize receive NT$600,000 (US$21,603) and NT$300,000, respectively.
An extra showing of "Celts" and "Taste" has been added for Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, respectively, with tickets going on sale at 11 a.m. Wednesday on the OpenTix ticketing service, the organizers said.
This is the second year in a row that the winners of the competition was announced without a ceremony because of COVID-19.
The festival, which opened on Sept. 23, will conclude with the Taipei Film Awards ceremony for locally made movies on Oct. 9,
In addition to acting and technical awards, 20 films, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated films will compete for the top prize of NT$1 million.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel