Taiwan’s Chung Chia-chun from the Tao indigenous group won Best Young Actor for his role in local feature “Long Time No Sea” at the Minsk International Film Festival Nov. 6 in Belarus.
The 14-year-old, who received no formal acting training, charmed judges for the festival’s Children and Youth Film Competition with his natural and heartfelt performance, according to the production’s distributor Taipei City-based Swallow Wings Films.
Chung plays Manawei, a motherless boy from the Tao tribe, living on outlying Lanyu, also known as Orchid Island. As he yearns for his absent father, who is a migrant worker in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, he joins his elementary school dance group to train for a national competition.
Based on a true story, the 96-minute drama directed by Heather Tsui took six years to shoot and almost exclusively stars locals from the island with no acting experience. Some of the themes it covers are challenges to preserving indigenous customs and language as well as intergenerational friction.
On the film’s Facebook page, Chung expressed his joy and gratitude at receiving the prize and said he was surprised by his win. He thanked Tsui and his home of Lanyu for nurturing him.
Chung is one of the nominees for Best New Performer at the upcoming 55th Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Oscars. “Long Time No Sea” is also screening at the 38th Hawaii International Film Festival running Nov. 8-18.
Source: Taiwan Today (https://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=18&post=145005)