Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) China's Zhang Ziyi picked up the award for Best Leading Actress at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei Saturday in recognition of her role in the martial arts movie "The Grandmaster." " I've been nominated a few times for the Golden Horse Awards. I finally captured one today," an emotional Zhang said in her acceptance speech.
She said making "The Grandmaster" was a long and difficult experience but it was fulfilling.
In the movie, Zhang plays Gong Er, the daughter of a martial arts master in northern China who gives up her personal happiness to seek revenge for her father's death.
"Thank you director Wong Kar-wai for allowing me to encounter Gong Er at the most difficult time of my life and for encouraging me to be brave and believe in myself. I did it," the 34 year-old Zhang said in her acceptance speech at the awards.
She also thanked her co-star Tony Leung Chiu-wai of Hong Kong and other cast and crew of the film.
The movie is loosely based on the life of Ip Man, a late master of the Wing Chun school. In the film, Zhang's character develops an unfulfilled romantic tension that spans decades with Ip Man, played by Leung.
Her emotive performance has received accolades from critics.
She beat Hong Kong's Sammi Cheng, who plays a bumbling police officer in the romantic comedy and crime thriller "Blind Detective" and Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei, who plays a handicapped piano teacher in the courtroom drama "Christmas Rose."
Also in the running were Taiwan's Shu Qi, who is a demon hunter in the action comedy "Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons," and Hong Kong's Cherry Ngan, who stars as a street dancer in "The Way We Dance."
The award was presented by Golden Horse ambassador actress Maggie Cheung and actor-singer Andy Lau, both of Hong Kong.
Zhang's first major role was in Chinese director Zhang Yimou's romantic drama "The Road Home." She shot to international fame after playing a young rebel in Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's 2000 martial arts film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Since then, she has appeared in many films, including "Rush Hour 2" and Zhang Yimou's "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers."
In 2005, she received a Golden Globe best actress nomination for her leading role as Sayuri in "Memoirs of a Geisha."
She has been nominated for the Golden Horse's Best Leading Actress award twice before, once in 2000 for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and again in 2004 for Wong Kar-wai's "2046."
The star-studded ceremony, considered the Chinese-language Oscars, is one of the most prestigious film events in the Chinese-speaking world.
(By Christie Chen)