Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai met with the nominees for the 35th Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films at the Ministry of Culture on March 29 to congratulate the emerging film talents.
The awards have oftentimes been the first step for people to enter the film profession, said Lung, noting that among the previous winners are Ang Lee, Tsai Ming-liang, Tseng Chuang Hsiang and Rong-chi Chang. She expressed the hope that the nomination would let the nominees’ families and friends know that the help they had given is now coming to fruition.
Nothing that many contemporary film professionals received their first commercial breakthrough after winning the Golden Harvest Awards, the Minister encouraged the nominees to keep pursuing their dreams with passion.
Forty-three filmmakers, actors, actresses and crew members of 19 nominated films attended at the meeting, and Lung was surprised that they are “really quite young.”
The awards are an important cradle for Taiwan’s film industry, and they are even more meaningful in certain aspects than the Golden Horse Awards, which honor commercial films. This is because short and independent films nourish the spirit of originality, the Minister said.
Had he not won the award, he would have become a teacher or find other jobs with a more stable income under his parents’ pressure, said documentary director Yang Li-chou. He urged the nominees to tell stories from a broader perspective. “Don’t just set your eyes on the local audience, you should start learning about what resonates with the global audience.”
Many nominees expressed their gratitude for being recognized by the awards. Malaysian Chinese Lau Ket Huat said he had given up on filmmaking until the Best Director award he won two years ago brought him back to Taiwan to make films again. “When It Rains,” a film Lau directed that discusses the issue of migrant workers, was named the best student production in 2011. Without Taiwan, Lau said, he would not be able to continue making films.
“Being nominated is an honor,” said the Minister, adding that she is glad the country has these young talented people. As to the role and functions of the Golden Harvest Awards in the future, Lung said the Ministry will have more discussions with film professionals on how to make it a major cradle of film talents.