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GOLDEN HORSE AWARDS: Screenwriter honored for lifetime achievement

2016/11/26 22:06:34

Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) Screenwriter Chang Yung-hsiang (張永祥), who has written some 120 movie scripts, has became the first ever screenwriter to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Horse Awards, the most important film event in Taiwan.

The 87-year-old screenwriter, who received the award from directors Li Hsing (李行) and Chu Yen-ping (朱延平), got a standing ovation from the crowd at the award ceremony in Taipei on Saturday.

"Every time I stand here to receive an award, there are only two words in my heart: thank you," Chang said in his acceptance speech.

Chang said attending the award ceremony made him feel that "I have aged, but this golden horse has become younger," noting the number of young people involved in the planning and production of the ceremony.

Chang said many people who work behind the scenes in films work very hard, and he hoped that the lifetime award can be given to more of these people in the future.

The prolific screenwriter began his career in the 1960s. He has penned numerous classics and has won five Golden Horse Awards for best screenplay over his decades-long career.

He won the award in 1972 for "Indebted for Life and Love" (還君明珠雙淚垂), in 1975 for "Land of the Undaunted" (吾土吾民), in 1978 for "He Never Gives Up" (汪洋中的一條船), in 1979 for "Story of a Small Town" (小城故事), and in 1981 for "If I Were for Real" (假如我是真的).

Chang was also one of the recipients of the prestigious National Award for Arts in 1976.

When it first announced the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award last month, the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee noted the global shortage of good scripts and said it hoped to shine light on the importance of screenwriters by presenting the award to Chang.

In 1986, Chang was appointed manager of the Chinese Television System's programming department. Over the next decade, he wrote several TV series that went on to become household hits, including the 1993 crime TV series "Justice Pao" (包青天) and the 1997 crime TV series "The Strange Cases of Lord Shih" (施公奇案).

Born in China's Shandong Province in 1929, Chang was among thousands of exiled students from Shandong who settled in Taiwan's outlying Penghu islands in 1949 during China's civil war.

He then worked in the military's entertainment troupe in southern Taiwan, where he learned to write scripts for plays.

After leaving the military, Chang spent five years reading translated novels by masters such as William Shakespeare and Ernest Hemingway at the library in Tainan, laying the foundation for his writing.

Chang's first movie screenplay was for the 1965 film "Beautiful Duckling" (養鴨人家), which is about a duck breeder and his adopted daughter.

(By Christie Chen)
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