'No Puedo' tops in Taipei

'Cape No. 7' notably absent from ceremony

TAIPEI -- "No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti" claimed the top honor as four Taiwanese films shared the bulk of the kudos Saturday at the Taipei Award ceremony that brought to a close the 11th Taipei Film Festival.

"A Place of One's Own," "Parking" and "Yang Yang" took three prizes each. But, if audience choice awards were included, "No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti," a drama about a widower trying to hold on to his daughter in the face of a possible legal challenge, edged the race with four including the grand prize. Directed by Leon Dai, "No Puedo Vivir" also claimed best actor for co-writer Chen Wen-pin, the Media Choice Award and best supporting actor.

The prize ceremony was open to Taiwanese films from the past year but notably excluded "Cape No. 7," the territory's biggest ever success at the boxoffice. The melodrama premiered at last year's Taipei festival before being released in August. (Confusingly, "Parking," which premiered in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section in May last year, was eligible for awards this time and earned Chung Mong-hong prizes as best director and co-writer of the best screenplay.)

However, the ceremony was studded with musical and other references to "Cape," which has singlehandedly changed the way that audiences and industry now regard local films in the territory.

The show, carried live on local television, lacked some of the hyperbole of other award ceremonies and instead gained in warmth and friendliness -- though more than 20 prizes seemed a touch excessive for an industry that is only now finding its feet with audiences.

The festival gave awards earlier in the week to new talents. Top was South Africa's "Disgrace," with "Parking" and "Yang Yang" also claiming prizes on that occasion.