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Taiwanese actress honored as Rising Star at New York film fest

2012/07/02 16:28:39

New York, July 1 (CNA) Michelle Chen, the leading actress in the 2011 Taiwanese blockbuster "You Are the Apple of My Eye," received the Star Asia Rising Star Award at the 11th New York Asian Film Festival on Sunday.

Chen, who became a household name among Mandarin film viewers for her role in the film, said she was really proud to bring the romantic comedy she loves to the Big Apple, where she studied for a year.

In the movie, adapted from director Giddens Ko's own romantic memories, the leading actor partly achieves what Ko was unable to do in real life -- tell a high school classmate on whom he had a crush his true feelings for her.

The film is an excellent representation of modern Taiwanese movies, said Goran Topalovic, founder of the leading Asian film festival in the United States.

"So we have a new generation of filmmakers, writers and actors who're making films with local themes that really appeal to the audiences in Taiwan. But it also has appeal outside of Taiwan's borders," he said.

The film, which raked in over NT$460 million (US$15.43 million) in Taiwan, also became the highest-grossing Mandarin film in Hong Kong after breaking the previous box office record of 61.27 million Hong Kong dollars (US$7.9 million) set by "Kung Fu Hustle."

In mainland China, the romance has earned a gross of 75.8 million Chinese yuan to become the best-selling Taiwanese film there.

Ko, a novelist-turned-director, also attended the film's showing at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He said the movie has gained widespread popularity because it is good.

Although Western audiences may not be familiar with the story's background, they can still be moved by the pure love described in the film, Ko added.

Topalovic agreed, saying "teenagers in Taiwan are teenagers everywhere. Of course there's some elements local to Taiwan but when it comes to that pure expression of emotions and love and magic of first love, it's the same everywhere."

"Taiwanese romances have this ability to express complex emotions in very poetic and imaginative ways, without melodrama and without being too sentimental. It's something very human about them and has universal appeal," Topalovic said.

(By Leaf Chiang and Kendra Lin)