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Taiwanese actress Lu Hsiao-fen wins Yakushi Pearl Award at Osaka film Festival

2023-03-22
Focus Taiwan
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Taiwanese actress Lu Hsiao-fen (sitting, third from right) and director Fu Tien-yu (sitting, second from left). Photo courtesy of Osaka Asian Film Festival
Taiwanese actress Lu Hsiao-fen (sitting, third from right) and director Fu Tien-yu (sitting, second from left). Photo courtesy of Osaka Asian Film Festival

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) Taiwan's actress Lu Hsiao-fen (陸小芬) on Sunday won the Yakushi Pearl Award at the 2023 Osaka Asian Film Festival for her performance in the Taiwanese movie "Day Off" (本日公休), which premiered earlier this month.

Lu, 66, used to be a sex symbol in the 1980s for her bold and expressive performance in a series of movies in Taiwan. Her role in "Day Off" is her first screen-work in more than 20 years.

In the film, she plays the leading role as a conservative hairdresser called A-rui (阿蕊), who strongly resisted social and generational changes, but is still able to maintain warm relations with her children.

"Day Off" and Lu's role were created by director Fu Tien-yu (傅天余) in a family drama based on Fu's mother.

Since its premier on March 3 in Taiwan, the movie has grossed NT$12 million (US$393,442) nationwide.

"Just the use of scissors in the barbershop is enough to fascinate the audience. With her precisely orchestrated performance throughout the entire production, experienced actor Lu Hsiao-fen makes sure that 'Day Off' is a masterpiece that will remain in people's memories forever," said the jury at the film festival.

The Taiwanese movie also won the Audience Award at the annual film festival.

"I did not waste any time in the past 20 years, waiting for such a wonderful good screenplay," Lu said. "I am grateful to Director Fu Tien-yu as well as the audience who have lent strong support to me."

Recently, Lu and Fu flew to Japan to discuss the film with Japanese movie goers. Lu had told the Japanese audience that she worked very hard to interpret her role but the efforts appeared worthy, joking that she now has enough training as a skilled hairdresser to run a hair salon.

In addition to Lu, the young Taiwanese actor Kai Ko (柯震東) won the Most Promising Talent Award in the Osaka film festival as a director in another Taiwanese movie "Bad Education" (黑的教育), which depicted three juvenile delinquents who had just graduated from senior high schools and the absurd things they did. "Bad Education" is the first movie directed by Ko.

"Director Kai Ko realistically portrays the roller-coaster emotions of three young men; it is as if the audience experiences a crazy night along with them," the jury said. "Ko clearly displays an overwhelming style, with clear and precise pacing throughout the film. The breathless development of the story exceeds expectations and is never dull."

The jury added: "Even though it is his directorial debut, Kai Ko is able to vividly depict a dark theme and elicit great performances from his actors. We cannot help but have high expectations for the director's further success in the future."

Meanwhile, Pan Ke-yin (潘克印), another Taiwanese director, won the Housen Short Film Award Special Mention award at the Osaka film festival for directing the short comedy "Daddy-To-Be" (有了), in which things almost went wrong for a man when his girlfriend suspected she was pregnant.

"Daddy-To-Be" is a very enjoyable film to watch. It's a well-paced, well-directed short film with a lot of charming scenes," the jury said. "The balance of the coming-of-age drama and the comedy is also very good."

"Day Off" and "Bad Education" are still showing in theaters in Taiwan.

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