A sleeper hit about saving the Tibetan antelope from poachers became the first movie from Chinese mainland to win Taiwan's Golden Horse Award on Saturday.
Hoh Xil: Mountain Patrol, also known as Ke Ke Xi Li, was picked over two star-studded Hong Kong blockbusters -- Infernal Affairs III and 2046 -- in the 41st edition of the annual ceremony.
The director of Hoh Xil Lu Chuan expressed gratitude in his acceptance speech to Hollywood studios Sony Columbia and Warner Brothers for investing in his movie about volunteers protecting Tibetan antelope from ruthless poachers in remote western China.
"I hope you can continue to trust me, because I will certainly make different movies," the 33-year-old director said.
Hong Kong's Andy Lau was honored as best actor for his role as a gangster in the thriller Infernal Affairs III. A modest Lau told the judges, "To make everybody believe I can act is a bit difficult, but in the future, my acting will not embarrass you."
The best actress award went to Taiwan's Yang Kuei-mei, who portrayed a divorcee trying to salvage her life in the The Moon Also Rises.
As she grabbed her Golden Horse, Yang noted that she was nominated four times before but never won. "Can my speech be a little bit longer, because I have four years' experience," joked Yang, who starred in the 1994 romantic comedy Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.
Hong Kong's Johnnie To won the best director award for his action movie Breaking News, which explored the relationship between the media and the fight against crime.
Hong Kong heartthrob Daniel Wu won the best-supporting actor award for his role beside kung fu king Jackie Chan in the action movie New Police Story.
Receiving his prize, Wu noted that when he started out in movies, he was "a fool with no ideas. Now I am a fool with an award."
The best cinematography award went to Cao Yu for Hoh Xil: Mountain Patrol, shot in western China's rugged Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
(China Daily December 5, 2004)